Salzburg, Austria: the Christ Child of Loreto and Our Lady of Maria Plain
The picturesque city of Salzburg is one of Europe’s most visited cities. The birthplace of Mozart, his name is on everything from buildings to souvenirs. It is easy to walk around in and is home to two very significant Catholic icons that have been venerated for centuries.
About the Christ Child of Loreto:
On a side street in Salzburg lies on of Europe’s most revered objects. The statue of Christ Child of Loreto originally came from Switzerland and became known when Fr. John Chrysostom Schenk traveled with it. He often loaned the statue to sick people and often people were amazed as their maladies were miraculously cured. Equally amazing was the fact that the statue was always returned to him in excellent condition despite the wear and tear. After his death in 1634 the statue continued to be revered by many and the faithful requested that it be made available for veneration.
Today the statue is in the chapel of the Capuchin nuns in Salzburg and open to public viewing. Mass is celebrated daily.
Traveling to see the Christ Child of Loreto:
The church is in the heart of Salzburg but easy to miss so look for the sign saying “Loreto Kirche” at Paris-Lodron-Strasse.
Address: Lorettoplatz 1, 1210 Wien, Austria
GPS coordinates: 47° 48′ 18.9612” N, 13° 2′ 48.5808” E
Click here for the official website for the shrine.
About Our Lady of Maria Plain:
Overlooking the city of Salzburg is the hilltop shrine of Maria Plain. The story of Maria Plain dates from the 16th Century when a fire broke out in a family’s bakery. As the owners surveyed the damage in the aftermath of the fire they found that everything had been destroyed, except for their painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It had miraculously been protected from the fire even though everything around it had been destroyed.
Later the image was brought to Maria Plain and placed in a small chapel on the hill. Before long, so many pilgrims came to venerate the image that in 1671, the local Bishop commissioned the construction of a shrine on the site. Numerous healings have been reported at the site and it remains a popular place of pilgrimage. One of the more notable pilgrims was Pope John Paul II in 1983 on his visit to Austria. The Benedictine Monks have responsibility for the care and upkeep of the shrine.
The interior of the church is so inspiring that Mozart decided to write his “Coronation Mass for the Blessed Virgin Mary” here at this location.
Salzburg is included in many Danube River cruises offered by Select International Tours.
You can drive up to the shrine or take a bus from the city. If going by bus you need to be aware that you will need to take the steep 20-minute walk up the hill from the bus stop or, if you prefer, take a taxi. Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here.
Address: Plainbergweg 38 A-5101 Bergheim near Salzburg
GPS coordinates: 47° 50′ 19.2768” N, 13° 2′ 22.1892” E
Tel: (+43) 662 450194-0
Click here for the official website of the Basilica of Maria Plain in Salzburg. (in German)
Click here for a tourist information website for Salzburg (lots of great info)