Lady of Loreto, emblem of Primosten

Emblem of Primosten Municipality

Lady of Loreto has been the saint patron of Primosten for almost two centuries, at the moment of this writing, 184 years precisely.

Primosten residents display her image in the insignia of Primosten municipality, in the emblem of Primosten tourist board, locals use her as a logo on their products (such as wine bottles)

Nobody outside Primosten paid too much attention to this until one day people came to their favorite summer destination and noticed this huge statue above Primosten.

On May 6, 2017, a 17-meter high statue depicting Lady of Loreto was erected on the Gaj, hill next to Primosten. Gold, silver, and stained glass coat the statue in a mosaic pattern. Seven rings form a base with various abstract motifs. The top makes the head of baby Jesus, Mary, and her crown.

The space around the statue is turned into sightseeing point. The view from there is simply put – magnificent. It takes less than 10 minutes by car from Primosten to get there. There’s a sign on the road showing where to take the turn from the main road. Parking space is 50 meters away from the top. There’s also a cafe/bar with a memorabilia gift shop at the top.

The trip to the top is definitely worth making.

Lady of Loreto statue in Primosten

Lady of Loreto statue in Primosten

Why “Lady of Loreto?

 

Of all the saints they could choose from, why did Primosten decide for her?

The story goes like this;
There was this man, Marko Prgin, who was very ill. One day he had a dream. And in this dream he saw a painting of the Lady of Loreto with a message that the painting would heal him if he took it to Primosten from Loreto.
He wanted to get well so bad. And when he did, he borrowed a boat from one of the locals (because his was too small) and off he sailed across the Adriatic to Italy.
And he returned with the painting with him.
He naturally wanted to give the painting to the church, but the administration wanted nothing to do with this “Italian Lady“ and they banned it from entering.
So Marko took it home and kept it there.

The painting would probably remain there until who-knows-when if it weren’t for cholera. This nasty disease was spreading across Primosten rapidly, taking casualties from 5 to 6 houses a day.

It was the parson Mate Livić who had an idea; On Sunday mass he addressed the villagers: “It is clear we sinned against someone or something. Nowhere around Primosten can cholera be found, only here among us. If we don’t do something, we will all most certainly die. Come on people, let’s take Lady’s painting from Marko Prgin and make a procession with it!”
And so they did. They made a procession around the village holding the painting high above in the air. In the end, they did what they had refused to do before; they placed it inside the church.
From that day on, nobody died from cholera again.

That was on May 10, 1835. They made a vowel to the Lady of Loreto and called that day Feast of Lady of Loreto.
Primosten celebrates that day every year since then.

How does Primosten celebrate Feast of Lady of Loreto?

 

Since the Feast is a religious holiday, it naturally passes in a spiritual ambience.

The ceremony lasts for 3 days.
The first two days are dedicated to prayer and cleansing of the “soul” as a preparation for the Feast.
The third day, on May 10, starts with early morning service, followed by several others and the procession around the village.
Members of the congregation, young and old, dress up in Primosten folk costumes (or their finest Sunday clothes), gather around and with a song take a stroll around the village showing the painting of Lady of Loreto to everyone.
The procession ends in the church.

The day ends with magnificent fireworks above the Primosten sky.

Fireworks in Primosten on Feast of Lady of Loreto

This photo was taken from PrimostenPlus gallery.