Novena to focus on how sainthood is open to all
One of Northern Ireland's largest religious events will this year offer devotees practical steps to sainthood.
West Belfast's annual Clonard Novena will take place over nine days from June 19-27 and draws more than 10,000 people daily. This year, the theme is 'Called to be Saints: Living the Beatitudes'.
Fr Peter Burns, Rector at Clonard Monastery, off the Falls Road, said: "This year's theme draws on Pope Francis's apostolic letter, entitled Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), on our call to be saints. It challenges our sometimes very narrow interpretation of what a saint is and reminds us that we all can be saints.
"Pope Francis is well aware that being holy is not easy and he suggests practical steps we can take to become saints. The key, he writes, is the beatitudes, which are the Christian's identity card."
Those unable to attend can keep up with the Novena online through the Clonard App and a webcam.