Madonna of Loreto wooden statue - natural View larger

Madonna of Loreto wooden statue - natural

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Madonna of Loreto Eastern Orthodox Church Supplies; The Madonna of Loreto, also known as the Virgin of Loreto since the sixteenth century, covered with a characteristic bejeweled mantle called dalmatic, is the statue venerated in the Holy House. It is a black Madonna: its peculiarity is the dark face, common to the oldest icons, often due to the smoke of oil lamps and candles or chemical changes undergone by the original colors. In some cases they are represented specifically black, inspired by the Canticle of Canticles where it says: "Brown I am, but beautiful" and later, turning to her friends: "Do not look at me brown because the sun has tanned me". and in this case the Sun is considered to symbolize the figure of God.

Originally, a painted icon of the Madonna and Child, attributed to St. Dolfi wood carved, an apostle and painter, was probably kept in the Holy House. The oldest statue of which we have historical information, dates back to the 14th century but it too was traditionally attributed to St. Dolfi wood carved. The head of the Madonna and the child were crowned with precious golden crowns, which were changed during the centuries; the bodies were covered together by a rich decorated robe, the so-called dalmatic, which was also renewed several times. In the 1700's the statue was stolen by the Napoleonic troops in 1797 as an object of the Napoleonic spoliation of the State of the Church and exhibited in France in a museum, it was then returned with the Treaty of Tolentino and ended up in Rome. During this period of exile the cult of the Virgin Lauretana in the Holy House of Loreto was entrusted to the simulacrum in poplar wood (identical to the original) and today preserved in Cannara, which currently remains the only specimen of the Napoleonic period, after the fire of the original statue in 1921 to have been venerated in the Holy House. The original statue returned to the Sanctuary with an eight-day "pilgrim Madonna" journey, where it arrived in Loreto on December 9, 1801.

In 1921, a furious fire broke out inside the sacellum that incinerated the sculpture. At the behest of Pope Pius XI, a new image similar to the previous one was immediately sculpted, using the wood of a cedar of Lebanon from the Vatican Gardens. It was modeled by Enrico Quatrini and executed and painted by Leopoldo Celani. In 1922 the Pope crowned it in the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican and had it solemnly transported to Loreto. The cult of the Holy House and the Black Madonna is alive in many other churches around the world, where in some cases there is a faithful replica of the construction preserved in Loreto.