Earlier this month I went on a brief pilgrimage with my daughter to the Redstone Arsenal Bicentennial Chapel in Huntsville, Alabama. The Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Military Community worships in this lovely chapel that serves the faithful of Redstone Arsenal.
Pope Francis has declared this year a special Jubilee for Our Lady of Loreto. This Jubilee celebration carries with it an indulgence for those who visit the Shrine of Loreto in Italy.
The story of this miraculous shrine, the House of Mary in Nazareth where the Angel Gabriel appeared to her has a fascinating story. The house was transported from Nazareth to Loreto, Italy by Angels to protect it from destruction in the 13th century.
This “flight” to save the pilgrimage site was a natural connection for Our Lady of Loreto’s patronage of aviators. Pilots in World War I turned to the Blessed Mother to protect them, and on March 24, 1920, Pope Benedict XV made the declaration official. This has now carried over beyond airmen, to include all air travellers. I appreciate this special patronage, as I travel frequently.
To honor this centennial of the patronage of Our Lady of Loreto, in conjunction with Pope Francis’ call for holiness in this anniversary year, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, has requested that the indulgence be extended to all military chapels in the world since all branches of the military fly. How cool is that?
And how cool that my beloved veteran and active duty family members have this protection; the pilgrimage to this lovely chapel in the NASA/Redstone community was particularly meaningful.
Our Lady of Loreto, pray for us!
Copyright 2020 Maria Morera Johnson