The ancient legend continues to inspire devotion to the “flying house of the Virgin”
Our Lady of Loreto is a Marian devotion that arose from the story of the miraculous transfer of the house in which the Virgin Mary lived in Nazareth .
Small house made of stones, had become a relic protected by Catholics in the Holy Land. Under that roof, after all, ” the angel of the Lord had announced Mary and she had conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit . ” According to some traditions, the Holy Family would also have lived there.
Although the subsequent investigations have clarified the facts – the official site of Loreto explains that “the hypothesis is more and more confirmed that the stones of the Holy House were transported by ship to Loreto, at the initiative of the nobles who ruled Epirus “, the Ancient legend continues to inspire devotion to the “flying house of the Virgin”.
What does the old legend say?
Centuries later, in 1291, a time of great Islamic expansion and before the arrival of the Crusaders in Nazareth, the house of the Holy Family apparently disappeared inexplicably and, similarly, appeared in the city of Tersatz, in ancient Dalmatia , Balkan region that today corresponds to the territories of Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Montenegro.
The local priest, who was very sick and was healed by a miracle, was graced with a vision of the Virgin in which she herself affirmed: ” This is the house where Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and where the Holy Family He lived in Nazareth . ”
The house of the Sagrada Familia was transported whole, from Nazareth to Tersatz, without being demolished.
The people began to make pilgrimages and to obtain thanks and miracles. The local governor, still impressed with the fact, sent four scholars to the Holy Land to confirm if this was the true house of Our Lady.
In Nazareth, the envoys only found the foundations of the house and the fear of the Nazarenes for their disappearance. The foundations had the same measures as those that had appeared in Tersatz, and are still preserved today in the Basilica of the Annunciation, in Nazareth.
As for the house that appeared in Tersatz, it was intact and without signs of having been dismantled and rebuilt.
After little more than three years, according to tradition, a new miracle would take place: on December 10, 1294, the house of the Virgin Mary was raised above the Mediterranean Sea and taken to the Loreto forests in Recanati, Italy.
The faithful then remembered a prophecy of St. Francis of Assisi : ” Loreto will be one of the most sacred places in the world. There a Basilica will be built in honor of Our Lady of Loreto . ” In fact, the basilica erected around the house became one of the largest sanctuaries in Europe.
At the request of the Church, several studies have been carried out by engineers, architects, physicists, historians and experts, who, the more they analyze the case, the more they verify the inexplicable character of the emergence of that house:
1. It rises from the ground without any base of support and it is possible to pass an iron bar underneath it without any impediment.
2. The stones of construction do not exist in Italy: only in the region of Nazareth, in the Holy Land.
3. Its door is of cedar, wood that does not exist in Italy either, but it is in Palestine.
4. The stones of the walls were raised with a kind of cement made of calcium sulphate and coal dust, a mixture used in the Palestine of the times of Jesus, but unknown in Italy when the house arose in Loreto. There are no later remains of mortar that suggest a medieval reconstruction.
5. The measures of the house correspond perfectly to those of the base that remained in Nazareth.
6. The house, small and simple, follows the Nazarene style of the time of Jesus.
It is no coincidence that the Virgin of Loreto is the patron saint of aviation, in memory of the “miraculous transfer” …