Skip to comments.Study Backs Tradition of Loreto House - Stones in Altar Match Those in Nazareth, It Says
Posted on 03/30/2006 5:01:26 PM PST by NYer
LORETO, Italy, MARCH 30, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The stones in the Grotto of the Annunciation in Nazareth have the same origin as those of an altar at the Holy House of Loreto, says an archaeological study.
Architect Nanni Monelli and Father Giuseppe Santarelli, director of the General Congregation of the Holy House of Loreto, led the study.
Their finding has reopened discussion of the historicity of the mysterious transfer of the Holy House of Nazareth to Loreto.
According to tradition, the house was translated miraculously from Nazareth to Tersatto (in present-day Croatia) in 1291 and then to Loreto.
Giorgio Nicolini, author of a book on the Holy House, told ZENIT that, regarding "the authenticity of the Holy House of Loreto as Mary's 'true Nazarene House,' there was never any doubt other than on the part of those who are not acquainted with the secular studies in this respect; so much so that, for seven centuries, all the Supreme Pontiffs confirmed the authenticity with solemn canonical acts of 'approval.'"
However, the new study, regarding the Altar of the Apostles, "is important because, in addition to providing a further proof of the authenticity of the Holy House of Loreto as Mary's 'Nazarene House, it also provides an even more spectacular 'proof' in regard to the miraculousness of the translation of the Holy House of Nazareth," said Nicolini.
In this connection, Pope Pius IX wrote in the 1852 bull "Inter Omnia": "Venerated in Loreto is that House of Nazareth, so loved by the Heart of God, and that, built in Galilee, was later separated from its foundations and, by divine power, translated beyond the sea, first to Dalmatia and then to Italy."
The story of the Holy House is a tale of unequaled wonder written in the stars. 700 years ago, after two prior angelic relocations, the tiny 3-sided structure was carried to it's final resting place in Loreto, Italy by God's Holy Angels. As incredulous as this may sound to unbelievers, Anconan shepherds tending their flocks in coastal fields and a local monsignor were privileged eyewitnesses to this holy event.
The angelic flight of the Holy House from Nazareth across the Mediterranean via Yugoslavia to the Adriatic sea town of Loreto is known as "The Translation". It mirrors the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt and fulfills God's Will, that this heavenly sanctuary be preserved from Saracen invaders.
Beneath a narrow roof and within the hallowed walls of this humble stone abode, Jesus, Mary and Joseph once ate, confided and prayed.
Throughout the centuries, innumerable nobility, dignitaries, saints and popes have pilgrimaged to the Holy House. Tradition claims that Saint Francis of Assisi foresaw its arrival, and indicated the hilltop where it would come to rest to some of his friars. The King of Austria, ruler of the Holy League that defeated the Turks in the battle of Lepanto in 1517, brought his troops to Loreto before their history-changing victory. Upon her journey to the Holy Shrine, Saint Therese of Lisieux wrote, that if she were to live in Loreto she would surely die of joy.
The sick and infirmed from throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East come to the Holy House to pay homage to the childhood tabernacle of Christ, the place where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Ever-Virgin Mary and our exalted Blessed Mother proclaimed her, "Yes!" to God and accepted the profound mystery of the Incarnation. "And the Word became flesh" within her womb, within this tiny chamber.
During the Renaissance, many renowned artists came to Loreto. Mozart wrote his "Litany of Loreto" inspired by the beauty of the shrine and the faithful attending its presence. Long used as a chapel to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, today the Holy House is encased within marble statuary the envy of Rome, perfectly positioned in the Basilica's center formed at the holy crossing of apse and naves, beneath a dome vaulting hearts and spirits to thoughts of the Fatherland. Within its present adornment, the Holy House of Loreto represents over 100 years of loving artistic, intellectual and spiritual achievement. It is considered a principal wonder of the Golden Era of mankind.
But far more important than all the surrounding architectural and artistic glory is the sense of "DIVINE PRESENCE" that imbues the hardest of hearts the instant they pass through its portals. Inside the Holy House, on any given day, many a soul can be found deep in contemplation and prayer. Apart from Holy Mass and the privacy of silent meditation on and with God, the only sound one hears is the gentle pressing of Rosary beads between thumbs and forefingers and the cadence of pilgrims softly rubbing and kissing rough walls hewn smooth as glass from centuries of devotion.
The first place Pope john Paul II pilgrimaged after becoming our Shepherd was Loreto. Wise to and moved by its irresistible graces, he has called Loreto, the place in which God became man, the "holiest place on earth."
May every blessing of the Holy Family be upon all who discover these pages. May the Holy Angels of Loreto carry you far from harm as they did our holy role models.
Beautiful! Have heard of this, but have not read up on it until now. Thank you.
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Did we ever doubt? Thanks NYer.
If you ever get to Italy, plan a trip to the Holy House. Just awesome!