I Will Betake Myself to Thy House

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Falling between the feasts of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe, is the feast of The Holy House of Loreto. Here, then, is Caravaggio's Madonna of Loreto, an extraordinarily moving painting. Caravaggio painted it in 1604, when he was thirty-three years old.

I have visited Loreto twice in my life; once in 1975, and again in 2005. I have experienced the grace and mystery of the Holy House miraculously transported by angels to the place prepared for it by God. One of the most striking things about Loreto is the number of saints who have gone there in humble pilgrimage, desiring to adore the mystery of the Word Incarnate and to linger in the sweet presence of His Virgin Mother.

I cannot resist sharing the texts of the Proper Mass of The Holy House of Loreto, one of those lovely Masses celebrated by special grant in certain places.


This is a fearsome place:
it is the house of God, the gate of heaven;
it shall be named the palace of God (Gen 28:17).
V. O Lord of hosts, how I love thy dwelling-place!
For the courts of the Lord's house, my souls faints with longing (Ps 83:2-3).


O God, who in thy mercy didst sanctify the Blessed Virgin Mary's house
by the mystery of the Word made flesh,
and didst miraculously place it in the heart of thy Church,
grant that we may shun the abodes of sinners
and become worthy to dwell in thy own holy house.
Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord
who is God living and reigning with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever.


One request I have ever made of the Lord,
let me claim it still,
to dwell in the Lord's house my whole life long.
V. Gazing at the beauty of the Lord,
haunting his sanctuary (Ps 26:4).


Alleluia, alleluia.
How blessed, Lord, are those who dwell in thy house!
They will be ever praising thee (Ps 83:5).


I will betake myself to thy house,
and bow down before thy sanctuary,
and praise thy name (Ps 5:8).


Lord, we pray thee, graciously accept the gifts we offer
in this holy house;
and grant that, with the merits of the Blessed Virgin pleading for us,
these same gifts may prove a help to our salvation.
Through Christ our Lord.


Blessed is he who hears my voice,
who watches daily before my gates,
and waits at the threshold of my doors.
He who shall find me, shall find life,
and draw from the Lord salvation (Prov 8:34-35).


We beseech thee, Lord our God,
that the sacred rites thou hast bestowed upon us
to safeguard this new life of ours may,
through the intercession of Blessed Mary, the ever-virgin,
bring us healing now and in time to come.
Through Christ our Lord.


Interesting. I didn't know such a Mass existed. Does it exist in both forms of the Roman rite, or just in the EF?

And why can it only be celebrated by special grant?

Only in the Extraordinary Form, except in Loreto itself, where it is the patronal festival. The special grant was accorded upon request of an Ordinary.

Ah, interesting. Thank you for the information!

The Holy House of Loreto reminds me of our own Holy House here in England.Walsingham,unfortunately destroyed in the Reformation.A different story to that of Loreto of course,built as it was in typical Norfolk style complete with a thatched roof.Built by Our Lady's Angels so the story goes,and at one time one of the most important pilgrimage sites in England.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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