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Thursday 21 September 2017

Knock marks occasion with exhibition of 1932 souvenirs

Tom Shiel

SOUVENIRS and mementos of the 1932 Eucharistic Congress -- including a gramophone bought by a young pilgrim after she was enthralled by John McCormack singing 'Panis Angelicus' -- are part of a commemorative exhibition at Knock Museum, Co Mayo.

The late Mary McLoughlin, from Clarkfield, Knock, bought the gramophone -- which is still in perfect working order -- and a collection of John McCormack records in Walton's of Dublin 80 years ago.

One of her grand-daughters, Grace Mulqueen, curator of Knock Museum, decided to include the gramophone in the major exhibition on the 1932 congress, which runs until October.

Grace recalled yesterday: "Granny went by train to the congress, one of tens of thousands from rural Ireland to do so. She was so impressed by John McCormack that she bought the gramophone in Walton's on the way home."

Many pilgrims to Knock in recent months have been bringing to the local museum souvenirs of the 1932 congress, whose high point was a massive open-air Mass attended by an estimated one million people.

According to Pat Lavelle, assistant manager at Knock Shrine, many pilgrims to Ireland for this year's congress are combining a visit to the marian shrine at Knock.

The papal legate, Cardinal Marc Quellet, will be the main celebrant and homilist at a special Mass in Knock Basilicia on Saturday, June 16 at 3pm.

Irish Independent

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