Santa Casa di Loreto
The Holy Father will leave his summer residence on Saturday afternoon, September 1, traveling by helicopter to Loreto, on
The "Agora" meeting is part of a 3-year campaign among Catholic youth, which in turn is the result of a pastoral-planning meeting among
The Holy House of Loreto is one of the most revered Marian shrines in the world. Since medieval times, the Holy House has been believed to be the very home in which the Virgin Mary lived, conceived and raised the young Jesus.
A large basilica has been built around the small shrine, and the sacred site attracts as many as 4 million Catholic pilgrims and visitors each year.
According to Catholic tradition, the Holy House came under threat during the turmoil of the Crusades, so in 1291, angels miraculously translated the house from its original location to a site in modern-day
The Holy House of Loreto, or Santa Casa di Loreto in Italian, has been venerated by pilgrims great and small, including many popes and saints, and numerous miracles and healings have been reported. Scientists are said to have confirmed the materials to be the same as those found in
In 1469, a large basilica was built over the Holy House at Loreto, and still stands today. In 1507, a marble enclosure was constructed around the House inside the basilica, and in 1510, the site was officially approved for pilgrimages. Over the centuries, countless pilgrims have kneeled inside the basilica around the Holy House, wearing a trough in the hard rock.
The Basilica built over the Holy House has been rebuilt and repaired periodically since its construction in 1469, leaving it with a Renaissance exterior and a Gothic interior.Inside the basilica, the Holy House is, of course, the main attraction. It is a small brick building, 13 x 31 feet. Inside the house is an altar with the Latin inscription Hic Verbum Caro Factum Est, "Here the Word was made flesh." A statue of the Virgin stands above the altar.