The solemn celebration in honor of the Blessed Virgin of Loreto, Patroness of Aeronauts, was celebrated on the morning of today, December 10, 2021, at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The religious function was officiated by himself Msgr. Santo Marcianò, military ordinary for Italy, and saw the participation of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, air squad general Luca Goretti, of the political and military authorities of the Defense, of a representation of military and civilian personnel of all the bodies of the Air Force.
The ceremony, which preceded the closing of the Holy Door at the Sanctuary of Loreto, in the afternoon, it sanctioned the conclusion of the Lauretan Jubilee, the Holy Year promoted for the centenary of the proclamation of the Virgin of Loreto as patroness of aeronauts, which took place on 24 March 1920.
"Dear soldiers, the jubilee time has entered your daily life and has brought to light even more the extraordinary things entrusted to the Air Force." the words of Msgr. He marched during the celebration, which he later added "Your mandate in establishing the pandemic was extraordinary" referring to the commitment of the Arma Azzurra in the transfer of patients, in the transport of medicines and in the custody and delivery of vaccines.
The Chief of Staff of the Air Force, at the end of the celebration at St. Peter's Basilica, addressing the Holy Father thanked him for "The opportunity granted to be able to celebrate the Celestial Patroness of Aviators in the house of Peter". He then added: "Today is a day of considerable importance for us, since not only do we celebrate the annual anniversary of the Holy Virgin of Loreto, but today, in conjunction with the Feast, the Lauretan Jubilee ends, which represented for us all aeronauts an opportunity to profound reflections in a time of difficulties and emergencies caused by the pandemic ".
General Goretti then continued: "His enlightened words, His spiritual guide, His continuous example, remind us to adopt a lifestyle in conformity with the Christian spirit. They have helped us in the darkest moments and support us in the fulfillment of our duty with renewed confidence towards a a more peaceful and hopeful future. "
"In the midst of the Covid-19 emergency, we all wanted to accept Your Holiness's invitation to 'rethink solidarity' through concrete acts of charity" - continued the Head of SMA. "The icon of the Holy Virgin Mary, Heavenly Mother, directed our gaze and our thoughts to the 'Child' in her maternal arms. From this," A gift from Heaven ", the charity initiative in favor of of children and their families who suffer. "
He then concluded by saying: "This day will remain engraved in our memory and I thank you again in the name of all of us for this exceptional and unique occasion. Holy Father we welcome in unison your recurring request to pray for you, we invoke your apostolic blessing so that the Blessed Virgin of Loreto for us protect and always accompany us in everyday life and on our flights. "
The event ended with the words to the assembly by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who in his speech wanted to highlight how “… This Jubilee, on the centenary of the proclamation of Our Lady of Loreto as 'Patroness of all aeronauts', reminded us that God also created heaven for us. The sky reminds us that we are also made to fly, not so much in the material sense, but above all in the spiritual one ". He then added "For you 'flying high' means being peacemakers, serving peace both in airborne missions and in ground services, both at home and abroad, in conflict zones".
During the Lauretan Jubilee, exceptionally extended to two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, various religious, solidarity and cultural initiatives were promoted. Among these, the itinerant visit of the Sacred Effigy of Our Lady of Loreto which during the jubilee was kept in all the bases of the Arma Azzurra, the issue of a celebratory stamp and the important charity initiative "A gift from Heaven ".
The air squad general Alberto Rosso, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force, also took part in the celebrations of these days, who during his mandate gave a significant boost to the various initiatives including the charity "A gift from Heaven".
Just at the end of this charity project, yesterday evening - Thursday 9 December - the event "Un Cielo di Note" took place, a concert by the Air Force Music Band at the Sinopoli hall of the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome. The evening was an opportunity to present the results of the initiative, with over 600.000 euros collected and fairly donated, with the support of the Arma Aeronautica Association, to three national pediatric hospitals: the "Giannina Gaslini" of Genoa, the "Bambino Gesù" of Rome and the "Santobono Pausilipon" of Naples.
The donations, on the recommendation of the hospitals themselves, guaranteed the supply of urgently needed medical and pediatric equipment, as well as support for families in need of particular help during the long periods of hospitalization of young patients.
In particular, with the sums collected it was possible to acquire:
"Giannina Gaslini" Hospital of Genoa:
- a 4K laparoscopic column for pediatric interdisciplinary use "Olympus" which will be primarily used by the UOC of surgery for minimally invasive surgery in surgery as well as in orthopedics (scoliosis operations), neurosurgery (skull base), otolaryngology (nasal cavities) already in service at the hospital;
- a 3D ultrasound system for upcoming pre-natal ultrasound scans.
"Bambino Gesù" Hospital in Rome:
- a “Cadwell II Cascade Iomax” (IOM) intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring system and a “CUSA® Clarity” ultrasound scaler for the treatment of malignant and benign tumors already in service at the hospital;
- “Hospitality Project”, a loan to be allocated to families who need help during the long periods of hospitalization of their children to guarantee 2.400 free nights starting from January 2022.
"Santobono Pausilipon" hospital in Naples:
- a portable “Ziehm Vision RFD” C-arc radiographic system for carrying out radiographic investigations during surgical interventions already in service at the hospital;
- an upcoming “Siemens Juniper Base Configuration” compact high-performance ultrasound system.