At the end – or rather the beginning – of Rue de Notre-Dame-de-Lorette (see previous post), you may find the church which gave the name to the street. The church was built during the years 1823-36 in some kind of neoclassical style.
On the frontispiece we can read “Beatae Mariae Virgini Lavretanae”. “Lavretanae” refers to Loreto in Italy. There is an enormous shrine to be found in the Loreto “Basilica della Santa Casa”, supposed to contain a house – flown there by angelic beings - where Mary once lived and where she was visited by the Holy Spirit – with the consequences we know. A congregation named the “Sisters of Loreto” was created in 1609. Mother Teresa was a long-time member of that congregation. Maybe we should also refer to what for the Catholics is a famous litany, the “Litaniae lauretanae”, the “Litany of Loreto”. Mozart and others made music to it.
Coming back to the Paris church, we can also read, above the entrance doors, something which may sound more surprising on a religious building: “Liberté Egalité Fraternité”, words emanating from the French Revolution and later becoming the motto of the French Republic. It may not be surprising that very few churches have this inscription and this one doesn’t seem to have been repainted since it was put here in 1902. (I talked about a similar inscription on the Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-Belleville church in this post.)
What we see on the top picture are “Six Angels in adoration before the Madonna and Child” (by C-F Leboeuf, 1792-1865). They would all need a good cleaning.
The inside of the church is especially known for having almost all walls painted, probably the most colourful of all Paris churches.
Maybe we could listen to a little part of Mozart’s version of the “Litaniae lauretanae”.