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Annual Novena takes place this week

Wednesday, 15th February, 2017 1:01am

The director of the annual Galway Solemn Novena is encouraging local people to visit the Cathedral this week to view a special Pilgrimage Icon which has been blessed by Pope Francis.

This year’s Novena is focusing on Mary, Icon of God’s Mercy.

Fr Brendan O’Rourke, Novena Director, explained, “What has the Galway Novena in common with such people as Katie Taylor, Rory McIlroy, Annalise Murphy, Paul O’Connell, Robbie Brady, Austin Gleeson, Diarmuid Connolly, Lee Keegan, Gary and Paul O’Donovan, and Conor McGregor? They are all sports icons. They represent for many achievement, courage, the human spirit at its best. They are like the little icons or pictures on iPhones, computers and iPads, icons that open up a whole world for us.”

The icon currently on display in the cathedral is a true copy of the original icon which is located in the Redemptorist Church in Rome.

“Over the years in the Cathedral we have used a print of the Mother of Perpetual Help but this year we have a genuine icon,” Fr O’Rourke said.

“However our icon in the Cathedral is five times the size of the original and it brings out every detail of the original, and is strikingly beautiful.”

There has already been a strong turn-out for the nine-day Novena, which is expected to attract up to 10,000 people.

The Redemptorist Novena Director is encouraging people to attend the event, which runs until next Tuesday, 21 February.

“Come to the Cathedral during these nine days of Novena and see the icon. If you are not a Novena person slip into the Cathedral at some other time during these nine days and see the icon. Sit before it and feel the invitation to sink deeply into your own very being, into your own soul, and experience the sense of peace, love and acceptance that so many have experienced in the presence of this icon.”

The Galway Solemn Novena runs until Tuesday 21 February at Galway Cathedral. Week day Mass times are at 7.45am, 11am, 1.10pm, 3.30pm, 7.30pm, 9pm and mass will be said at 9am, 10.30am, 12.30pm, 4.30pm, 6.30pm and 8pm on Sunday. Children will be blessed at all sessions on the Sunday 19 February. Mass and anointing of the sick will take place on Saturday 18 February at 11am. Candle light meditation sessions will take place at 10pm on Wednesday 15 and Monday 20 February.

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