Last Sunday in January

marian calendar - january

Madonna di Loreto, Lanzo d'Intelvi, Como, Lombardia, Italy

In the 1600s, artisans went from all over Italy to help adorn the Sanctuary of the Holy House in Loreto, often bringing devotion to the Madonna of Loreto back to their homelands on their return. In Lanzo d'Intelvi, on the Swiss border, home to master builders and stonecutters, a Loreto shrine was inaugurated on June 30, 1678, with an exact replica of the Holy House, and statues of the Loretan Black Madonna over the entrance and altar.

Although the liturgical feast of Our Lady of Loreto is celebrated on December 10 in commemoration of the miraculous transport of the Holy Family's house to Italy in 1294, Lanzo d'Intelvi holds its festa in her honor on the last Sunday in January, before the emigrant workers home for Christmas return to their places of employment. Festivities begin Saturday with the exposition of the Virgin's statue in the parish church, mass, and a candlelight procession to the shrine, which is open all night for prayer. Sunday's celebration opens with a 5:00 a.m. church bell concert and continues through the afternoon, when the statue processes through the streets, accompanied by a marching band, a crowd of faithful, and children dressed as saints. A charity auction and dramatic presentation follow. On Monday, the statue returns to its place over the shrine's altar, behind a grill, to the ancient strains of "Ave Maris Stella" (Hail Star of the Sea). See Alfredo Dedo Nicoli's thoughtful video of the 2016 events.  

Sources include:

Abbadia di Loreto,
Lanzo d'Intelvi,
"Magistri Comacini," Comunità Montana Lario Intelvese,
Mario Ghezzi, "Photo of 2009 7 Lanzo d'Intelvi, Santuario della Madonna di Loreto," Panoramio,
"Processione e fiaccolata per la Madonna di Loreto," Corriere della Sera, 24 gennaio 2002,

Also commemorated this day:

Notre-Dame, Dingasso, Bobo-Dioulasso, Houet, Hauts-Bassins, Burkina Faso. Diocesan pilgrimage.
Nuestra Señora de Belén, Real de Asientos, Asientos, Aguascalientes, Mexico (Our Lady of Bethlehem; fourth Sunday)
Inmaculada Concepción, Temax, Yucatan, Mexico
Virgen de la Paz, San Juan de Aznalfarache, Seville, Andalucia, Spain (Virgin of Peace). Procession on the Sunday after January 24 every three years, e.g. January 25, 2015; January 28, 2018.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly