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Loretto

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” —Goldsmith: The Good-natured Man, iv 1.

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.

The Loretto of Switzerland.
Einsiedeln, a village containing a shrine of the “Black Lady of Switzerland.” The church is of black marble and the image of ebony.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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