The Shrine of the Holy House

Archbishop Giovanni Tonucci Has Left Loreto

On Mary 20th, as it is known, the official announcement was given that Pope Francis had accepted the demission of the Pontifical Delegate and Prelate of Loreto Archbishop Giovanni Tonucci for having reached the age limit and that he had named as his successor Msgr. Fabio Dal Cin.
Msgr. Tonucci ended his mandate on August 15th. He had been named Archbishop of Loreto by Benedict XVI on 18 October 2007 and took up his service on the following December 1st. Intense has been his Lauretan episcopate both on a pastoral level, and on the promotional one, notwithstanding the  known  financial  difficulties.  Here  we  make  a quick mention of his main initiatives in both levels. To him we owe the institution of perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament or French Chapel, where he willed that the only tabernacle in the Basilica be conserved, according to the norms of the Church. He transferred from Good Friday to Holy Saturday the rite in the Holy House of kissing the Statue of Our Lady, covered with a black veil, from which small pieces are taken - as relics. He predisposed the barricading of the naves of the Basilica and of the Encasement of the Holy House in order to regulate the flow of pilgrims and he procured the funds to relocate the seven marble balusters in the same amount of lateral chapels, which had been dismantled during the episcopate of Pasquale Macchi. He procured a new Penitentiary that from the apsidal chapels of the Basilica has been transferred to some rooms on the ground floor of the Apostolic Palace and it has been furnished with new confessionals that are sound proof, acclimatized and equipped with modern technology. He desired, already having given his demission, new pews for the Basilica. He promoted the annual Symposium for Confessors so that they may have permanent formation. He gave a new organization to the musical Choir of the Holy House made up now of only regularly paid professional singers and he predisposed, after years of waiting, a room for exorcists. He asked and obtained from the Holy See on March 25, 2014 the Plenary Indulgence for the pilgrims to the Holy House and to the places of Marian-Loreto devotion throughout the world during the Synod of Bishops.
On the level of touristic and cultural promotion he began the guided tours to the rampart walkways, entrusting the management to the Pro Loco, and also predisposed the actualization of the socalled “Walkway of the mule” which leads to the Canteens of Bramante, favoring in this manner the visits to the exhibits that are held there within. He promoted numerous meetings and displays, some of noteworthy prestige and resonance. He began the Loreto Research Center and the Holy House Editions, favoring numerous publications. He established the Medical Observatory and the medical Commission, which examines the healings obtained through the intercession of the Virgin of Loreto. He supported the project of a statue in honor of St. John Paul II, placed in the homonymous square, with the consequent transferal of the statue of St. Pio of Pietrelcina in an area of the Basilica. On the level of buildings, besides all the rest, he promoted the renovation of part of the west wing of the Apostolic Palace, which was once furbished as the habitation of sisters who were at the service of the Shrine. These are only some of the works brought forth by Archbishop Tonucci during his mandate as pontifical delegate, which mark the recent history of the Shrine. To him goes our most sincere esteem and deep gratitude on behalf of the Capuchin Friars, the clergy, the faithful of Loreto and countless pilgrims.
Thank you, Archbishop Giovanni!