The invocation “House of Gold” (Latin, Domus Aurea) of the Litany of Loreto, which we shall discuss today, being the thirtieth day of our devotion, would not be difficult to assimilate if we truly consider the virtues and attributes of Our Lady. The significance of this title would reach its better comprehension with the next title after it: “Ark of the Covenant.” Needless to say that the titles “House of Gold” and “Ark of the Covenant” are closely related. Thus, invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary as “House of Gold,” what does the Church intend to explain?
Simply put, the title: “House of Gold,” is used to describe the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the “Golden House” and the noblest space in history, where the Eternal ‘Word was pleased to dwell and live among us’ (cf. Jn. 1:14). Apparently, Gold is the noblest of metals; as such, the Sacred Vessels used at Mass for the consecration of bread and wine are made of gold or at least coated with gold.
In Jesus’ time, the “House of Gold” was actually the great Temple of Jerusalem which was considered the most sacred place in Israel, because the Tabernacle (where the Ark of the Covenant was kept) was made of the finest gold. In fact, the book of Kings says that ‘everything’ in the Temple was made of gold (cf. 1Kgs 7:50). For this reason, it became known as “House of Gold.” The litany attributes this same title to the Blessed Virgin Mary, recognizing that she is much more than the Temple of Jerusalem. As God’s glory filled the temple (cf. 2Ch 5:14), so also, Mary was filled with the shekinah glory of God: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Lk. 1:35). Being the New Ark where the New Covenant dwelt; her essence must surpass the Ark of the Old Covenant made of finest gold because she is the perfect of God’s creatures. Little wonder the Psalmist makes a prophetic allusion: “On your right stands the Queen in gold of Ophir” (Ps. 45:9)
Therefore, it becomes more significant for us Christians to invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Domus Aurea” (House of Gold), recognizing her immaculateness and inviting her to come and dwell in our homes, because having her in our homes is worth more than any earthly treasure whatsoever. When she dwells in our homes, she makes it precious and golden, bringing also her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ with her. Above all, recognizing her as “House of Gold” also reminds us of the need to strive to be “golden tabernacles,” making ourselves living and fitting temples where God can be pleased to dwell.
Let us pray:
Lord our God, Your Son Jesus Christ was pleased to dwell in the ‘golden temple’ (womb) of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may our devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary make us ‘golden temples’ where you can dwell forever. Amen.
Oh “House of Gold” (Domus Aurea), pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?