Loreto (Ancona)

Pope to celebrate mass in Italy's Marian city of Loreto

Pontiff to visit city on Thursday

Pope to celebrate mass in Italy's Marian city of Loreto

(ANSA) - Loreto (Ancona), October 1 - The city of Loreto is preparing for a visit Thursday from Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope will be in the Marian city to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the visit of Pope John XXIII, who made a pilgrimage to Loreto in 1962 to pray for the success of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Benedict, who will arrive by papal helicopter, will celebrate Mass at the Basilica della Santa Casa, and then attend a lunch with a group of about 40 cardinals and other church officials. The city of Loreto, located near the Adriatic Sea, is traditionally known as a Catholic pilgrimage site because of the Basilica della Santa Casa. According to tradition, the Santa Casa, or sacred house, is the house in which the Virgin Mary lived. It is said that in medieval times, when the sacred house was threatened with destruction by the Turks, the house was carried by angels through the air and eventually left in Loreto.

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