We have $162,395 to go in our Fall Campaign. Every penny is used to strengthen the Church. See details!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Pope makes pilgrimage to Loreto

Catholic World News - October 05, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI completed a pilgrimage to Loreto on October 4, in preparation for next week’s opening of the Synod of Bishops.

Arriving in Loreto by helicopter (to the surprise of some reporters, who had understood that he would travel by train), the Pontiff visited the shrine of the Holy Family at Loreto, then celebrated Mass on the adjoining plaza. In his homily the Pope explained the purpose of his visit, which duplicated the pilgrimage taken by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 just before the opening of Vatican II:

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 will begin in a week, on 11 October, on the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which I have convened this October with the theme: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.

The shrine at Loreto is centered on a building that is believed to be the home in which the Virgin Mary lived at Nazareth. A pious tradition teaches that the shrine was miraculously carried to Loreto by angels at the end of the 13th century; a more mundane explanation is that the stones were brought from the Holy Land by a wealthy family after the Crusaders were ousted. The stones of the Loreto shrine do indeed match the stones of another structure, still standing at Nazareth inside the basilica of the Annunciation, that is believed to be another part of the Blessed Mother’s home.

In his homily to the congregation of about 10,000 in Loreto, the Pope spoke about how the Virgin Mary, accepting God’s invitation to become the Mother God, made herself the “home” for the Almighty. “The will of Mary coincides with the will of the Son in the Father’s unique project of love,” the Pope said, “and, in her, heaven and earth are united.” He went on to speak of the Church as a “home” for God, saying that “where God dwells, all are “at home”; wherever Christ dwells, His brothers and sisters are no longer strangers.”

In the contemporary world, the Pope continued, man often chooses not to make room for God. He reflected:

Without God, 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.

As he concluded his homily the Pope urged the faithful to imitate the Virgin in offering a “Yes” to God’s will. He reminded the congregation that God “forces no one” to accept his invitation, because in mankind God “has created a free partner in dialogue.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($162,395 to go):
$200,000.00 $37,604.72
81% 19%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Free eBook: Pope Francis' Catechesis on the Family 20 hours ago
The headlines say Gov. Brown is Catholic. He says he's not sure what that means. 21 hours ago
Archbishop predicts Synod won't change Church teaching. Why am I not reassured? 21 hours ago
A different tone at this Synod? October 6
Church Fathers: St. Clement of Alexandria, Part I October 6

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
In Cuba, Pope emphasizes service to the vulnerable, praises thaw in US-Cuban relations CWN - September 21
Pope challenges America in speech to US Congress CWN - September 24
As Synod opens, Pope calls on Church to defend ‘unity and indissolubility’ of marriage bond CWN - October 5