October 15, 2012



People watch as Pope Benedict leaves after visiting Loreto, Italy, Oct. 4 (above). During his visit to Loreto, the pope prayed in the Holy House of Loreto, traditionally venerated as Mary’s house from Nazareth (left).

Year of Faith, synod entrusted to Mary

During a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, Pope Benedict formally entrusted to Mary the world Synod of Bishops and the Year of Faith.

The pope was marking the 50th anniversary of Blessed John XXIII’s visit to the Marian shrine, about 280 km northwest of Rome, when he entrusted to Mary’s care the Second Vatican Council, which began Oct. 11, 1962.

“Fifty years on, having been called by divine providence to succeed that unforgettable pope to the See of Peter, I, too, have come on pilgrimage to entrust to the Mother of God two important ecclesial initiatives: the Year of Faith,” which was to begin Oct. 11 and the Synod of Bishops, which was to open Oct. 7.