On the morning of May 10, 1291, during a time of great Islamic expansion and before the arrival of the Muslims in Nazareth, the Holy Family House inexplicably disappeared. And, just as inexplicably, it appeared on the hill in the village of Tersatto (Trsat, Rijeka, Croatia); the people were astonished to discover a little building where none had been the day before.
The book The House of the Virgin Mary by Rev. Godfrey E. Phillips, which tells details of the miraculous transport. At that time, the incumbent of the parochial church of St George, at Tersatto, was a certain Alexander de Georgio, a man of great holiness of life and very devoted to Our Blessed Lady. Confined to his bed by a severe malady, he prayed that he might be enlightened from Heaven, as to the meaning of all these wonders. He did not pray in vain; for one night the most glorious Virgin appeared to him, surrounded with Angels, and with a benign smile, she thus addressed him: “Be of good courage, my son! Know that the house which has lately been brought to your land is the same in which I was born and brought up. Here, at the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel, I conceived the Creator of all things.
“Here the Word of the Father became man. After my departure from this world, the Apostles consecrated and adorned it, frequently celebrating Mass there. The altar, which was brought with the house, was consecrated by Peter, Prince of the Apostles. The image of the crucifix was placed there by the same Apostles. The cedar statue is an image of myself, made by Luke the Evangelist. This house, which was therefore so dear to God, and which was held in the highest honor for so many years in Galilee, has now come from Nazareth to your shores, by the power of God, to whom nothing is impossible. And now, in order that you may bear testimony to all these things, be healed! Your unexpected and sudden recovery shall be the proof of the truth of what I have been saying.”
On the 10th of December 1294, after the House had remained there for three years, it suddenly disappeared, and left no sign of where it had gone. On the same day, it appeared in Loreto. It was discovered by the shepherds.
Since then, the House of the Holy Family in Loreto has become a sanctuary and has been the destination of international pilgrimages since the 14th century.
In 1469, Paul II took over the construction of the current basilica. The most distinguished architects of the time worked on its construction.