OUR LADY of LORETO – Patroness of aviation and construction workers
Today, the Church commemorates the Memorial of Our Lady of Loreto, the title of the Virgin Mary with respect to the Holy House of Loreto and is located in Loreto, Italy. It is said to be the home in which Mary was born and where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her.
Mary’s home had long been 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 the year 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 built on the site in the 15th century.
Because of the tradition that angels had carried our Blessed Mother’s house through the air to Italy, Our Lady of Loreto is the patroness of aviation and construction workers.
On October 7, 2019, Pope Francis approved adding the December 10th feast of Our Lady of Loreto to all calendars and liturgical books for the celebration of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.
In his decree of putting the celebration of this feast day on the universal calendar, Pope Francis stated that it “will help all people, especially families, youth and religious to imitate the virtues of the perfect disciple of the Gospel, the Virgin Mother, who, in conceiving the head of the Church also accepted us as her own.”
The decree was published October 31st by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, and is classed as an Optional Memorial.
We commemorate this Memorial of our Blessed Mother on December 10.
(From thedailymass.com/our-lady-of-loreto, usccb.org/about/divine-worship/liturgical-calendar/our-lady-of-loreto, cruxnow.com/vatican/2019/10)
Editorial Note: 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 have been visited and blessed by various popes over the years.
(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary (second edition) from the Proper for Our Lady of Loreto)
“O God, who, fulfilling the promise made to our Fathers, chose the Blessed Virgin Mary to become the Mother of the Savior, grant that we may follow her example, for her humility was pleasing to You and her obedience profitable to us.
“Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”