Feast of Our Lady of Loreto
Tradition tells us that in 1294 the Holy House of Nazareth was brought by angels to Loreto, where it remains today. This house is where the Annunciation occurred and where Jesus, Mary, and Joseph lived as a family. There is a stunning painting of the Annunciation at the Basilica, which surrounds the Holy House, depicting the Word of God in a Sacred Host. It is pierced by a ray coming from the Holy Spirit and reaching Mary, who is kneeling in prayer on a prie-dieu in her house at
. Many miracles are granted through Our Lady of Loreto’s powerful intercession. Nazareth
"At the Annunciation by her 'Yes' to God,
Mary became the first tabernacle. ...
In this instant, the Eternal Word leapt down from Heaven and
'He whom the whole world cannot contain enclosed Himself
in your womb, O Holy Mother of God'.
Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant
containing not just the Word of the Torah or Law,
but the Eternal Word, Jesus Christ.
And so the Litany of Loreto addresses her
as the 'Cause of our Joy, Spiritual Vessel,
Vessel of Honor, Singular Vessel of Devotion'
and the 'House of God.'
She is the 'Seat of Wisdom' because once born,
Eternal Wisdom made her lap His throne."
Fr Giles Dimock, O.P.
As the young people who came to Loreto got ready for a long overnight vigil that would last till sunrise, filled with singing, playing music, dancing, doing street theatre, Benedict XVI paid a visit (2007) to the Holy House of Loreto at the start of what some have dubbed ‘Agora (or gathering) Night.’ In a live link-up with the youth outside, he recited a prayer in front of the statue of Our Lady, a prayer which he wrote for them. Here is an English translation of that prayer:
Morning star, talk to us about Him and tell us about the journey following Him on the path of faith.
Mary, who lived with Jesus in
, etch your feelings in our lives. Nazareth
May your meekness, your listening silence, make the Word blossom in truly free choices.
Mary, tells us about Jesus, so that the freshness of our faith shines in our eyes and warms the heart of those who are with us, as you did on visiting Elizabeth who in her old age rejoiced with you for the gift of life.
Mary, Virgin of the Magnificat, help us bring joy to the world and, as at
Cana, lead every youth who is committed to the service of his brothers do only what Jesus says.
Mary, look upon on the Agora [gathering] of Youth so that it will be fertile ground for the
. Italian Church
Pray that Jesus, who died and has risen, is reborn in us, and transform us in a night full of light, full of Him.
Mary, Our Lady of Loreto, heaven’s gate, help us raise our eyes.
We want to see Jesus; talk to Him; proclaim His love to everyone.
Our Lady of Loreto, pray for us!