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Dedication of the Church of Our Lady of the Snow

August 5, 2023

The church of Our Lady of the Snow was the basilica that Pope Liberius built in Rome, in the fourth century on the Esquiline Hill on the site of the present church of St. Mary Major. Our Lady showed the site of her sanctuary to a nobleman, indicating its boundaries by a miraculous fall of snow. This primitive basilica was destroyed in the following century and in its place was built St. Mary Major’s the most important of the Roman churches dedicated to our Lady. It was consecrated by Sixtus III in 432, the year after the Council of Ephesus that had proclaimed the divine Motherhood of Mary which was denied by the Arians. St. Mary Major’s is one of the finest and most imposing basilicas of Rome. Its great nave is bounded by forty-four white marble pillars surmounted by valuable and ancient mosaics. The ceiling is covered with the first gold brought from America. It is the stational church for the opening of the liturgical year on the first Sunday of Advent and for the feasts of Christmas (midnight Mass and Mass during the day), and Easter, and for the Rogation Monday and the four Ember Wednesdays.


August 5, 2023
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