Roseanna Ruane, mother of Saoirse Ruane, the Co. Galway girl who is coping with childhood cancer, announced plans at Knock Shrine today to bring Saoirse to the grave of Saint Padre Pio in Italy.

Saoirse won the heart of the nation when she first appeared on the Late Late Christmas Toy show in 2020.

Ms. Ruane told pilgrims attending the annual Novena in Knock Basilica this afternoon that she feels such a strong connection to the Italian saint that she intends journeying to his grave in San Giovanni as soon as Saoirse is able to make the journey.

She explained how the night before her daughter, underwent surgery for an aggressive tumour she was blessed with Padre Pio’s glove. “Now, more than ever, I feel a stronger connection to Padre Pio”, Ms. Ruane told the congregation in Knock

 The family live in Athenry – Roseanne, her husband Ollie and daughters Saoirse and Farrah Rose.

 After being introduced to the congregation by Fr. Richard Gibbons, parish priest of Knock, Ms. Ruane, spoke at length about how the power of prayer had given her family hope and courage during Saoirse's long battle with cancer.

Ireland had united in support of her daughter with relics, mass cars, holy water, candles, prayer scapulars coming through the door daily, Ms. Ruane said.

 She added: “For this we are eternally grateful”

 Ms. Ruane asked the congregation, those in the Basilica and online, to continue to keep Saoirse in their prayers as “she travels the long road to recovery”.



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