Loreto Chapel

The heart of the Hamlet

 

The Chapel was built in 1679 by landammann and banneret Wolf Dietrich von Reding Biberegg in the place of the ancient tower of the former Reding Castle. The deed of foundation of the Chapel and the prebends of Biberegg have been preserved until today. The foundation stone for the Chapel was laid by Einsiedeln native Prince-Abbot Augustin Reding, who offered the Chapel a venerable gift: the Miraculous Image of Our Lady which can still be found behind the altar of the church today. This accurate replica of the original of Loreto has been brought from Loreto by the Prince-Abbot himself from his journey to Rome in 1684.

Material of the mentioned tower, which at that time was 15 feet high and 10 feet deep, has been used for the construction of the Chapel, which is said to have been completed only in 1687. The construction costs amounted to 3500 gulden. In 1693, the Chapel was solemnly blessed by Abbot Augustin's successor, Raphael von Gottrau, with the permission of the papal Nuncio. The consecration of the Chapel was performed in 1701 by Konrad Ferdinand, auxiliary bishop of Constance.

The size and shape of the Chapel correspond exactly to the Holy House of Loreto. To the west of the Chapel you can find the prebendal house of H.H. the Honorary Chaplain. The edifice seems to have been constructed immediately after the completion of the Chapel. Since 1687, the position of honorary chaplain has always been occupied and the worship services provided by the foundation have always been held.

In 1783, the “Brotherhood of the Final Grace” was introduced with much solemnity and the bull of this brotherhood was issued by Pope Pius VI. To this day about 9700 members have been registered. Even more important than the introduction of this brotherhood was the recognition of equality of the Loreto Chapel and the Loreto Basilica. Thus a pilgrimage to Biberegg is since 1807 associated with the same indulgences, graces and spiritual benefits than a pilgrimage to Loreto in Italy.

(Extract from the Honorary Chaplaincy's chronicle)

Text Box: With the papal privilege of February 3rd 1807 granted by Pope Pius VII, the pilgrimage to Biberegg has been put on a par with the pilgrimage to the Loreto Basilica in Italy.

Illustration:

Brotherhood of the Final Grace

Picture: the Chapel in March 2006

Picture: the Chapel in Autumn 2006