Santa Maria nera

The replica of the Holy House of Our Lady of Loreto in the Church of Santa Maria Nera

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The Church of Santa Maria Nera2 owes its name to the presence of a black-colored sculpture of the Holy Virgin Mary, made in the 19th century. It is an identical reproduction of Our Lady of Loreto3. Our Lady of Loreto is located inside a Marian shrine, by the same name, in the town of Loreto in the Marche region. Legend says that the Holy House of Mary was transported in flight by angels from Nazareth to Loreto and the shrine was built around it. In 1662 in Lucca, the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God4 had an exact copy of the Holy House built inside the Romanesque church of Santa Maria Corteorlandini, which is richly decorated with 17th-century frescoes representing scenes from Mary’s life. The 19th-century statue of the ‘black’ Madonna was placed inside the house which stands...