Pope Francis has touched down in Ireland West Airport as the second day of his visit to Ireland gets underway.
At the airport the Pontiff was welcomed to Mayo by a group of 100 local school children.
Pope Francis personally greeted a number of the children who had gathered to welcome him.
With a big smile and time devoted to as many as possible, the Pope patted their heads and spoke with a number of the children before departing the airport for Knock shrine.
A number of bishops, Minister Michael Ring and airport representatives met the Pontiff from the plane.
John McCarthy, head of operations at the airport, his wife Mary and their four children Saoirse (11), Michael (10) and twins Robin and Ruby (8) greeted the Pope.
Mary McCarthy kissed the Pope as he departed the plane.
“Time just stood still when I saw him in front of me and I kissed him on both cheeks.
“It was amazing, even his hands as he I held them were so warm,” she told Independent.ie.
The couple’s children Saoirse Anne (11), Michael (10) and twins Robyn and Ruby (8) also greeted the Pope.
“I said ‘welcome to the west of Ireland’,” said Saoirse, who presented the Pope with a bouquet of flowers.
“He handed me the rosary beads and said “never forget to pray for me,”
Ahead of the visit by Pope Saoirse said she was very nervous but all went off without a hitch on the day.
“The pressure is off now,” joked dad John.
He then met a delegation of airport staff and local clergy, including Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary. Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring and Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Kieran Gavin also greeted the Pope.
The grandmother of a young boy who received a blessing at the airport has described the moment as "wonderful" for her family.
After disembarking the plane in Knock and greeting the welcoming delegation Pope Francis made a bee line for local boy Iarlaith Farrell who was one of the dozens of school children waiting to welcome the Pope to the West.
Iarlaith (7), who has Cerebral Palsy, was there with his grandmother Liz Farrell.
It was an emotional moment for Ms Farrell, who has 17 grandchildren in all.
“As a family we wanted a blessing for Iarlaith and we got our blessing and he got a kiss from the Pope,” she told Independent.ie.
“The Pope shook my hand as well, it’s a great day for our family and for Knock as well.”
Ms Farrell was in shock in the moments after meeting Pope Francis and said the moment far exceeded her expectations for the morning.
“He came straight for him, and from what I’ve seen from the Pope he is so interested in the children and it means a lot for the parents,” she said.
Even in the build up to today's meeting she said she could hardly believe it was going to happen, and in the aftermath was very emotional at how events played out for her grandson.
During his brief time in Knock airport Pope Francis made a substantial effort to great many of the children who had gathered in the rain to greet him with flags and a cheer.
The Pope then travelled by cavalcade to Knock shrine where some 45,000 people are expected. His departure from Dublin airport and his arrival iMayo was shown to the crowds gathered at the shrine on large screens.
Events have been taking place at the shrine from shortly before 8.30am this morning when church bells across the diocese rang out.
During his time in the village this morning, the Pope travelled through the shrine grounds in the Popemobile, and he will visit the Apparition Chapel in the grounds of the famous basilica.
He is expected to light a candle and present rosary beads to the shrine at around 10.20am.
All eyes will be on the Pope when he delivers an address from the lectern, and he will then lead the assembly in praying the Angelus in Latin. That will conclude with an Apostolic blessing.
Shortly before 11am, he will be accompanied to his car and he will then depart for Ireland West Airport for his journey back to Dublin.
Aer Lingus operated specially chartered flights for the visit. The Papal flag and the Irish tricolour will be flown from the cockpit for both pushback and landing in both Dublin and Knock airports today.
The Pope is due to arrive in the Phoenix Park at 2.30pm when he will spend half an hour moving through the 500,000 strong congregation before the closing mass of the World Meeting of Families begins.
The first day of his visit to Ireland garnered international headlines with news outlets around the world reporting on his 90 minute meeting with abuse survivors on Saturday evening.
The Pope compared those who abuse children with human excrement according to survivors present at the meeting.
Meanwhile, at home Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s speech at the civic reception held in Dublin Castle has been well received.
The Fine Gael leader used his address to condemn the Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes and clerical child abuse as “stains” on the State and Church.