Our Lady of Loreto, known to be the heavenly patron of the airmen, from now on will see her memorial celebrated liturgically every December 10, to commemorate the anniversary of the miraculous translation of the “Santa Casa,” the august home in Nazareth where the Virgin received the announcement of the Incarnation.
Cardinal Robert Sarah announced on October 31, 2019 the inscription on the universal calendar of the Church of a new memorial: “Pope Francis has decreed, by his own authority, that the optional memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto should be inscribed in the Roman Calendar on 10 December, the day on which the feast falls in Loreto, and celebrated every year.”
The decree of the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments explains that “closely bound to the Apostolic See this shrine, praised by Popes and known throughout the world, has, over the years and no less than Nazareth in the Holy Land, been able to illustrate powerfully the evangelical virtues of the Holy Family.
Tradition reports that during the night of December 9-10, 1294, the Holy House of Nazareth was transported by the angels to a place called Loreto, which was then part of the diocese of Recanati.
The place quickly became a place of pilgrimage, enriched by many indulgences granted by the pontiffs. It is customary to sing there a series of invocations to the Virgin Mary, which were subsequently approved by the Church, under the name of the “Litany of Loreto.”