Veil of Our Lady of Loretto
| In 1854, the third Bishop of California, Thaddeus Amat, left
Sacramento office and
traveled down the coast of California. He headed into Mexico and then across
Panama. On the
eastern coast, Bishop Amat and his entourage boarded a ship bound for Italy.
In Rome, the bishop procured the body of St. Vibiana, St. Candidus, and various
and translated them back to the United States.|
Among these relics, was an envelope that was handwritten in Bishop Amat's own writing and sealed shut with a watermarked episcopal seal. Contained in the envelope was this 1/2" by 2 1/2" piece of the veil of Our Lady of Loretto.
The reliquary that holds the relic was custom designed and handmade to resemble the most precious of all reliquaries - the tabernacle that houses the body, blood, soul, and divinity of the Son of the Mother of God.
|This is one of the few remaining pieces of
the veil or mantle which
covered the original miraculous statue of Our Lady at Loretto, the same one
destroyed by fire in 1921. The veil was replaced from time to time, and the
cloth sent to
Rome to be distributed as relics to bishops. The statue of Our Lady of Loretto
so miraculous that these relics received the same veneration as the relics
of the authentic veils
actually worn by Our Lady in life. It had been believed since medieval times
that Our Lady
held great graces for all who venerated her image there, and granted the
greatest of favors.
Subsequently, this relic is very rare and special since it touched the original
this statue which many saints prayed before and which granted so many
The original statue was replaced in the same year by a new statue taken from the Vatican gardens. This statue has been artifically darkened, since in this way it would appear similar to the statue destroyed in the fire, blackened by smoke and time.
© 1997, Saints Alive!
last edited June 11, 1997