• Our Lady of Loreto, patron saint of aviation

The 10th of December, the day of the Virgin of Loreto, Patron Saint of aviators, is a day of celebration for all those of us who are passionate about flying.

Although the origin of the celebration is Christian, the patron saint’s day goes beyond that. It is a day to recognise the work done by each and every one of the professionals who work every day to make the sector work. Yes, aviation is a colossal machine in which every small cog is essential.

In addition to pilots and cabin crew, there are the handling staff, flight instructors, controllers, cleaning staff and passenger agents. Also the security personnel, mechanics, flight dispatchers, engineers and scheduling department. Not forgetting human resources, operations department, marketing, IT, refuelling staff…. The list of professionals is endless.

To each and every one of you… Happy day!

Why is the Virgin of Loreto the patron saint of aviators?

And, well, you’re probably wondering, why is Lady of Loreto the patron saint of aviators?

According to legend, in 1291, after the Crusades in the Holy Land, the house of the Virgin Mary was moved from Nazareth (in Jerusalem, now Israel) to Dalmatia (Croatia). It is said that the building was miraculously carried by flying angels.

The house was set up in a forest full of laurel trees, in Latin, lauretum. Hence the origin of the name Loreto.

Some time later, the house was moved again to its final location, which is the present-day Italian town of Loreto (Ancona, Italy).

On the other hand, Pope Benedict XV declared the Lady of Loreto patron saint of all aviators at the beginning of the 20th century; so, since then, every 10th of December we celebrate the day of all aviation professionals.

Photo of the Basilica of the Holy House in Loreto, Italy.
Author: Rabanus Flavus, CC BY-SA 2.5, on Wikimedia Commons.

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