Saturday 22 September 2018

More than 300,000 tickets to see Pope Francis booked in one day

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's square in Rome during his Sunday Angelus prayer
Pope Francis waves to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's square in Rome during his Sunday Angelus prayer

Kevin Doyle and Fiona Dillon

APPLICATIONS for more than 300,000 tickets to see Pope Francis in Ireland have been received in a single day.

Tickets for the Pontiff’s appearances in Knock and the Phoenix Park released through an online portal early this morning.

And shortly before 6pm, organisers said the demand was “unprecedented”.

As expected all 45,000 free tickets for the opportunity to pray the Angelus with Pope Francis at Knock Shrine were snapped up within a matter of hours.

They were released at 5am and the final ones allocated just over four hours later at 9.12am.

At the same time this morning 500,000 tickets for the Mass in the Phoenix Park as part of the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) also went live for booking.

A total of 285,000 tickets were booked in the first 12 hours.

Speaking about the scale of today’s bookings, Fr Timothy Bartlett, Secretary General of the WMOF, said that he is hugely encouraged by the response.

“It is clear that what Pope Francis is saying about family, faith and society, is connecting with a wide range of people. We are working hard to make the WMOF2018 a joyful, welcoming and comfortable event for all those who wish to attend,” he said.

“While I know that many people will be disappointed that they have not managed to get tickets for Knock Shrine or for the RDS Pastoral Congress, I would encourage them to come to the Mass in Phoenix Park for a joyful celebration of faith and the good news of family in our lives. It will also be a memorable and historic occasion.”

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