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Monday, December 10, 2007

The Holy House of Loreto

Today is the feast of the translation of the house of the Holy Family to Loreto. In honour of this occasion, Rev Fr Michael Mary, C.SS.R. celebrated the Holy Mass by candlelight this morning, with the community assisting.

The Story of the Holy House of Loreto

Some time after the year 313, the emperor Constantine the Great had a great basilica built over the site of the Holy House of Nazareth, in which Our Lady, St Joseph and the child Jesus had lived. In about the year 1090, the Saracens invaded the Holy Land plundering and destroying many of the shrines sacred to Christians, and they did not spare the Basilica of the Holy House. However, the House itself was left intact. After the Crusaders had liberated the Holy Land from the Moslems, they built a new Basilica over the site. In 1263, the Moslems took the Holy Land once again, and again destroyed the Basilica, but the house escaped once more, being hidden under the ruins of the Basilica. Finally the Crusaders were totally driven out of the Holy Land. On May 10, 1291, the Holy House of Nazareth was lifted from its foundations by angels, and transported out of the Holy Land, to Dalmatia (present day Croatia) to a small town called Tersatto. The priest of the parish church, Alexander Georgevich, was most puzzled by the sudden arrival of a small church-like structure in his parish, and he prayed that he might know what was meant by it. He soon received a vision of Our Lady in a dream, and she told him that the building was the Holy house of Nazareth, in which had taken place the Annunciation. In confirmation of this, She cured him of an illness from which he had suffered a long time. In 1294, the Moslems took over Albania. Some shepherds reported seeing the house being carried through the air by angels on December 10th 1294. It was once laid to rest in woodland about 4 miles from Recanati, Italy. The news spread fast and soon it was visited by a great many pilgrims. But soon, bandits began attacking the pilgrims, and so the Holy House was once more transported by the angels, to a spot a small distance away. However, the land on which the house was now situated, belonged to two brothers, and the newly arrived building caused some arguments, and so the house was once more moved, and finally set down where it now stands. The people sent a group of 16 men to determine the exact origin of the building. The men took down all the dimensions and other characteristics of the house and then when first to Tersatto, and then to Nazareth. On returning, they were able to relate that the foundations of the house were still in Nazareth, and that they matched the house in Loreto which has no foundations.

The inside of the Holy House

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