Loreto is located on the right bank of the Musone river, near the large city of Ancona, in the Marche region. Like many places in the Marche, it provides stunning views stretching from the Apennines mountains to the Adriatic Sea. Ever since the 16th century, the devotional “lauretana” tradition involved many religious, artistic and literary meetings, and the Holy House become not only the goal for a lot of pilgrimages but one of the most important spiritual and cultural centres in Europe.
The Holy House
An ancient tradition tells us that the walls of the Shrine existed in Nazareth, Galilee. This Holy House is the same House where Our Lady Mary was born and lived. This tradition, based on devotion and popular belief, ascribed the transportation of the House of Nazareth to an angelic mission; current historical studies have developed the hypothesis of a transportation carried out by man, through sea and land, that came true with special assistance from above! That’s the way “to read between the lines” and give the most probable explanation to the Holy House event.The original nucleus of the Holy House consists of three walls only: in Nazareth, the original fourth wall was simply the side opened towards the entrance of the grotto. On this edge now stands the interior altar of the Holy House. About sixty graffiti have been found, and mostly are considered by experts to be similar to those of the Judeo-Christians in the Holy Land, including Nazareth, belonging to ancient times.
Started in 1469 in late Gothic style, probably based on a design of Marino di Marco Cedrino, the Basilica was completed in 1587 with its facade in late renaissance style. In 1468 the Bishop of Recanati, Msgr. Niccolò delle Aste decided on the construction of the current church, started the following year.