Why doesn’t Our Lady of Loreto have any arms? Funny you should ask. In 1291, fearing the imminent attack of the Turks, Our Lady of Loreto picked up the house in Nazareth in which Mary was born (somewhat upgraded here from the original humble cottage) and flew it eventually to Loreto in Italy, after a couple of stopovers in Tersato and Recanati. As such, she is now the Patron Saint of Aviation (no kidding). Now the arms bit. There are several accounts. One is she couldn’t be bothered to take the trip herself, so just sent her arms to carry the house. Another version seems to do with it being a bit more of a load than she imagined and her arms fell off somewhere on the way. Anyway, she doesn’t have any anymore. She ended up in San Miguel courtesy of conquesting Spaniards. Each year at this time the Chapel of the Our Lady of Loreto in the Oratorio is opened to the public, announced at 6 AM (just as you have got nice and cosy) with fireworks, a brass band, and a deranged, endless, and wonderful ringing of bells. As we live right under the Oratorio, we have an intimate knowledge of all this. Now back to bed, no arm done.
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