Last year, Pope Francis restored the commemoration of Our Lady of Loreto for this day as an Optional Memoria.

The Decree states: ‘Since the Middle Ages veneration for the Holy House of Loreto has been the origin of that particular shrine which still today is visited by many faithful pilgrims in order to nourish their faith in the Word of God made flesh for us. This shrine recalls the mystery of the Incarnation, leading all those who visit it to consider “the fullness of time”, when God sent his Son, born of a woman, as well as to meditate both on the words of the Angel announcing the Good News and on the words of the Virgin in response to the divine call. Overshadowed by the Spirit, the humble handmaid of the Lord so became the dwelling-place of divinity, the purest image of the holy Church’.

We may also reflect on the fact that each one of us, through our Baptism, is a ‘holy house’, a shrine where the Lord may dwell, and be at home. As St Elisabeth of the Trinity prayed: ‘that I may be for Him another humanity, in which He renews His whole mystery’.

Today is a day when it is fitting to pray the Litany of Loreto – particularly for an end to the pandemic. May Our Lady of Loreto pray for us, and may God bless you this day.