Tuesday is the first time that the Feast of Our Lady of Loreto is being celebrated throughout the whole church, being elevated to the rank of a Memorial on the Church’s universal calendar. Pope Francis made this decision earlier this year and it expresses his great faith and confidence in the intercession of Our Lady during these challenging times.
The city of Loreto has been a pilgrimage site for centuries because within its Basilica is the Nazarene house where Our Lord, Our Lady and Saint Joseph lived during Jesus’ early years. The house itself has been a place of prayer since the fourth century, surviving a number of attacks through the centuries. It is now located in a beautiful Basilica where thousands come each day to venerate the place where the Holy Family made their household.
Family life in our modern world is under a great deal of stress. The truth is that there has never been a time when family life has not faced its share of challenges and problems. Yet, the family is the most important element of society and the Church. Healthy families are the foundation for any society and within the Church, its bedrock as the “domestic church.” So, as we celebrate this feast, I would suggest that we pray for our families today. In a very special way, let us pray for those families that are divided, hurting or in need of healing.
May the Holy Family, who made their home in Nazareth, watch over our families and help us to enjoy true peace, healing, and joy.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos.