December 10

Madonna di Loreto, Loreto, Ancona, Marche, Italy

In some parts of Italy, bells ring at 3:00 a.m. on December 10, to rouse believers to celebrate with bonfires and litanies the miraculous transportation of the Holy House of Nazareth to Italian soil on this date in 1294. The shrine at Loreto, near the Adriatic Sea, has been a magnet of devotion for hundreds of years. In the centuries before the apparitions at Lourdes, Loretto shrines were built throughout Europe and its colonies, often with replicas of the Black Madonna or the Holy House -- in which the Virgin is believed to have conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit -- rescued by angels, it is said, after the Muslims took over the Holy Land in 1291. With reference to the flight of the Santa Casa, in 1920 Pope Benedict XV proclaimed Our Lady of Loretto the patron saint of aviators. The beautiful Litany of Loreto, which invokes Mary under many titles, is so called because since the 1500s it has been recited at the shrine every Saturday, the day of the week consecrated to her from the time of Charlemagne. (Information from the shrine's site,, and elsewhere; picture from

Also commemorated this date:


bulletVirgen de la Paz, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Image installed and blessed in new church, 1972.
bulletNotre-Dame-de-Vie, Amélie-les-Bains-Palalda, Pyrénées-Orientales, Languedoc-Roussillon, France. First stone of new church placed, 1868. Statue of seated Virgin dates from the 1200s.
bulletVergine Addolorata, San Valentino Torio, Salerno, Campania, Italy, Casatori district. Statue crowned, 2004. Floral carpet 3rd Sun. Sept.
bulletVirgen María, Cacaulí, Madriz, Nicaragua. Apparitions to Panchito Dávila began, 1990.
bulletMother of God of the Sign, Veliky Novgorod, Novgorod, Russia (old calendar November 27)
bulletMother of God of the Sign, Pavlovsk, Voronezh, Russia (old calendar November 27)
bulletMother of God of the Sign, Ponetaevka, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (old calendar November 27)
bulletVirgen de Fátima, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain. Apparition to Sr. Lucia, 1925, asking for first-Saturday devotion.
bulletNuestra Señora de la Encarnación, Seville, Spain. Statue crowned, 1994. Feast March 25.
bulletKursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign, New York, New York, USA (old calendar November 27)

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly