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Why is Our Lady of Loreto patron of airplane pilots?


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Philip Kosloski - published on 12/10/21

In 1920 Pope Benedict XV approved a blessing of an airplane at the request of several pioneers of aviation.

The first half of the 20th century saw rapid progress in the realm of transportation. Not only was the automobile invented, but the Wright Brothers pioneered their first flight on December 17, 1903.

As technology was further developed, many pioneers of aviation sent a request to Pope Benedict XV. Pope Benedict XVI explains in an address in 2010 how his predecessor proclaimed Our Lady of Loreto the patroness of aviators.

Dear friends, on March 24, 1920, my Predecessor Benedict XV, of venerable memory, crowning the wish of several pioneers in aviation, proclaimed Our Lady of Loreto Patroness of all air navigators with reference to the Archangel Gabriel, who came down from Heaven to bring Mary the glad tidings of her Divine Motherhood (cf. Lk 1: 26-28) and to the devout tradition linked to the Holy House. I entrust your work and all your projects to Our Lady of Loreto. 

This proclamation was connected to a special blessing of airplanes that was approved at the time. It included a special reference to Our Lady of Loreto.

God, who by the mystery of the incarnation mercifully consecrated the dwelling-place of the blessed Virgin Mary, and wondrously transferred it to the heart of your Church; we beg you to pour out your blessing + on this airplane (these airplanes), so that all who fly in it (them) may, under the protection of the Blessed Virgin, happily reach their destination and then safely return home; through Christ our Lord.

All of these references are connected to the pious tradition that the house of the Virgin Mary in Nazareth, where she conceived Jesus Christ, was miraculously transported through the air to Loreto, Italy.

Our Lady of Loreto, pray for all airplane pilots and all those involved with aviation!

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