20 February 2020

Prague, Part Three

Battling wind, light snow, and misty rain, along with tired feet and the typical confusion of tourists in a foreign land with a foreign language (we never did come to grips with the beautiful but complex Czech language), we basically were defeated by Castle Square, missed out, and headed off in another direction.  This took us to the Prague Loreta.

What in the world is that??  Well, it is a carefully crafted pilgimage destination in Prague, but which was originally for the locals to experience the beauty of the faith and a pilgrimage even if one could not travel far.  Construction began in 1626.  It contains a cloister filled with chapels and shrines, the Church of the Nativity of Our Lord, a lovely clock tower with chimes, and the Santa Casa (Holy Hut) -- a replica of Our Lady's home in Nazareth (you know, the one which was transported to Loreto, Italy by the angels!).

 One of the many shrines, each with prayers to be said.

 One of the many chapels along the cloister.

Looking from the cloister into the courtyard, where the Santa Casa is.

Although it was virtually empty when we were there (as so many Christian sites seem to be these days), it does have a very active spiritual life, and there are all kinds of things one can do as either a tourist or a pilgrim.  It is affiliated with the Capuchin Friars Minor, and there are many services, sacred music concerts, events and pilgrim masses, and so forth.

 The Santa Casa, and the Church of the Nativity behind it.

Inside the Santa Casa, Our Lady of Loreto

We both agree that we would love to go back to this particular place and spend at least a whole day here.  If you were to truly take your time and walk the cloister, stopping at every shrine and chapel, saying the prayers, and participating in at least one Mass, it would easily take a day.  And all above you are painted stories in frescoed, arched ceilings.

Church of the Nativity of Our Lord

I think it's a fabulous idea, creating a pilgrimage site for those who couldn't travel to Loreto in Italy.  And now, in this era, it still stands as a pilgrimage site for people from all over the world.  If you go to Prague, do not miss the Prague Loreta!

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