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Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
cnsnews ^ | October 4, 2012

Posted on 10/04/2012 9:44:20 AM PDT by NYer

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass outside the Sanctuary of the Holy House in Loreto, Italy, Oct. 4. The small house inside the basilica is traditionally venerated as the house of Mary, miraculously transplanted from the Holy Land. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Catholic News Service

LORETO, Italy (CNS) -- During a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, Pope Benedict XVI formally entrusted to Mary the world Synod of Bishops and the Year of Faith.

The pope was marking the 50th anniversary of Blessed John XXIII's visit to the Marian shrine, about 175 miles northwest of Rome, when he entrusted to Mary's care the Second Vatican Council, which began Oct. 11, 1962.

"Fifty years on, having been called by divine providence to succeed that unforgettable pope to the See of Peter, I, too, have come on pilgrimage to entrust to the Mother of God two important ecclesial initiatives: the Year of Faith," which was to begin Oct. 11 and the Synod of Bishops, which was to open Oct. 7.

About 10,000 people gathered in the square outside the Loreto shrine for the pope's morning Mass. Most of the pilgrims stood in the shadow of the shrine, protected from the sun shining in a clear blue sky.

At the end of his homily, Pope Benedict turned to Our Lady of Loreto with several petitions.

"I wish to entrust to the Most Holy Mother of God all the difficulties affecting our world as it seeks serenity and peace," the pope said.

He prayed for Mary's intercession in responding to the "problems of the many families who look anxiously to the future" and for young people just starting to build their adult lives.

The pope prayed for the poor, lonely and suffering who are "awaiting signs or decisions of solidarity and love."

And, finally, he returned to the Year of Faith and the synod on new evangelization, saying, "I also wish to place in the hands of the Mother of God this special time of grace for the church, now opening up before us."

With the famous conical statue of Our Lady of Loreto near the altar, Pope Benedict's homily focused on Mary as the best possible example of following God's will and bringing Christ to the world.

"She placed her entire being at the disposal of God's will, becoming the 'place' of his presence, a 'place' of dwelling for the Son of God," the pope said.

When Blessed John visited Loreto 50 years ago, the pope said, he told people that the aim of the Second Vatican Council was to spread throughout the world the benefits and blessings of God having become human, suffering and dying to redeem humanity.

At a time when the world is struggling with a global financial crisis and crises in many spheres of social life, he said, "the incarnation of the Son of God speaks to us of how important man is to God, and God to man."

Without God and without faith-inspired values, he said, "man ultimately chooses selfishness over solidarity and love, material things over values, having over being. We must return to God so that man may return to being man."

Pope Benedict told the crowd that with faith, "even in difficult times or moments of crisis, there is always a horizon of hope: The Incarnation tells us that we are never alone, that God has come to humanity and that he accompanies us."

United in faith, he said, all men and women become brothers and sisters, caring for and supporting one another.

Often today, he said, people think making a faith commitment means giving up their freedom, when in reality God liberates people from the selfishness and thirst for power that can consume them and harm others.

Just as God wanted Mary to agree to carry his son, "God asks for mankind's 'yes.' He has created a free partner in dialogue, one from whom he requests a reply in complete liberty."

Pope Benedict traveled to and from Loreto by helicopter. After the Mass, he remained for lunch and a rest before a scheduled 5 p.m. return to the Vatican.

TOPICS: Catholic; History; Prayer
KEYWORDS: italy; loreto; pope

1 posted on 10/04/2012 9:44:20 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

The Holy House in Loreto, where the Annunciation took place.

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 Croatia. An empty space was left in Nazareth, while a small house suddenly appeared in a field. The bewildered parish priest, brought to the scene by shepherds who discovered it, had a vision in which the Virgin Mary revealed it was her former house.

On December 10, 1294, the house was again moved by angels because of the Muslim invasion of Albania. It landed first in Recanti, Italy, but was shortly thereafter moved for a third time to its present location in Loreto.

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 Nazareth and the house lacks normal foundations.

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.

2 posted on 10/04/2012 9:46:32 AM PDT by NYer
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To: All

The Holy House was encased in ivory in 1511. Below, the deep furrows in the marble walkway surrounding the house.

3 posted on 10/04/2012 9:48:48 AM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
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4 posted on 10/04/2012 10:15:48 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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