Our Lady of Loreto

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Loreto.

The Holy House of the Blessed Virgin is located in Loreto, Italy, and it is said to be the home in which Mary was born and where the Angel Gabriel appeared to her.

Mary’s home had long ben revered in her hometown of Nazareth, and the apostles are said to have used the residence as a church. After the fall of the Latin Church in Jerusalem in 1291, tradition says that angels transported Mary’s home from Nazareth to what is now Croatia. They later carried the home to Italy where it eventually came to Loreto on December 2, 1295.

The shrine on Our Lady of Loreto was believed to be the site of miracles. In 1482, the shrine officially became a parish and, two years later, was placed under papal protection. A basilica was but on the site in the 15th century.

Because of the tradition that angels had carried mary’s house through the air to Italy, Our Lady of Loreto is the patroness of aviation and construction workers.

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Another House of the Virgin Mary can be found near Ephesus in Turkey. Local tradition says that Mary lived there later in her life. The Church has never commented on the authenticity of either home, both of which has be visited by various popes over the years.

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