Maria of Nazareth, patron Saint of the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, is a fine representation of the Holy Virgin Mary and was created by the sculptor Gregor Mussner of the studio Mussner G. Vincenzo in Ortisei, Italy.
The Bl. Virgin is represented while descending the steps, visiting her cousin Elizabeth (Luc. 1,39). Her dress shows all her grandiosity:
On the head: a silver diadem (tiara) with 12 stars, enriched with diamonds;
The hands: the left showing towards her breast to indicate that Jesus is in her heart and she gives us Jesus;
The right hand turned towards the people to say: walk with me.
The statue carved in occasion of the Jubilee 2000 to consecrate (dedicate-devote) the world to Mary, was crowned by the Bl. Pope John Paul II and visited 35 nations in all 5 continents and in many parish communities.
The statue continues to visit many parishes, inviting the people to a renewed devotion to the Mother of Jesus.
The Peregrinatio Mariae Mondiale was a prophetic intuition of a Capuchin friar of Loreto, Fr. Giovanni Maria Leonardi. After a prayer to the Holy Spirit and invoking the intercession of Our Lady, he wrote a letter dated December 8, 1995 to His Holiness John Paul II, asking to be allowed to organize, as preparation (invitation) to the big jubilee of the Holy Year 2000, a Peregrinatio Mariae throughout all Christian Nations.
Several religious (ecclesiastic clerical) groups were informed and involved of this, in particular the groups of Renewal in the Holy Spirit.
On September 26th 1997, in Jerusalem, the Rev. Fr. Giuseppe Nazzaro, Custos of the Holy Land, gave his full approval to this proposal and authorized Fr. Giovanni Maria Leonardi to organize the Peregrinatio.
In order to organize the best way this pilgrimage, a twinning, between the Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto (AN) and the Capuchin Fathers of the County Marche was organized.
A new statue of Our Lady, Mary of Nazareth, to be carved in wood according to precise indications of the Rev. Fathers, was ordered to and created by the artist Gregor Mussner of Ortisei, which statue prooved at once to be of great beauty.
The peregrinatio started on March 8th, 1998 from the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth and reached Loreto for the festivity of the Annunciation (25th March).
On the April 15th Mary of Nazareth was crowned by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
on the place in front of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome.
After this date, and up to Christmas 1999, when she returned to Bethlehem, Mary of Nazareth visited, during her pilgrimage through the world, 35 nations in all five continents.
In everyone of her stops she was received by multitudes of faithful people with great solemnity and devotion, promoting thus the devotion to Mary the Mother of Jesus.
Egypt, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Malta, Turkey, Romania, Russia, United States, Canada, White Russia, Poland, Czech Rep., Slovenia, Croatia, Spain, Portugal – Fatima, Switzerland, Congo, Colombia, Austria, Australia, India, Taiwan, Syria, Lebanon, Jordania, Israel, Italy, City of Vatican