The house of Loretto. The Santa Casa, the reputed house of the Virgin Mary at Nazareth. It was “miraculously” translated to Fiume in Dalmatia in 1291, thence to Recanati in 1294, and finally to Macerata in Italy, to a plot of land belonging to the Lady Loretto.
“Our house may have travelled through the air, like the house of
Loretto, for aught 1 care” —
There are other Lorettos: for instance, the Loretto of Austria, Mariazel (Mary in the Cell, in Styria. So called from the miracle-working image of the Virgin. The image, made of ebony, is old and very ugly. Two pilgrimages every year are made to it.
The Loretto of Bavaria (Altötting near the river Inn, where there is a shrine of the Black Virgin.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894