Dedication of Saint Mary Major Basilica

The Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome is an annual liturgical feast held on August 5th. It marks the dedication of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of Rome's four great basilicas and the largest cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

The basilica was built in the fifth century and has since been renovated and expanded. It is thought to be the oldest church in the West devoted to the Virgin Mary. The dedication of this basilica represents devotion and veneration of Mary as the Mother of God and the Protectress of the Church.

The story of the basilica's dedication is based on a miraculous event. According to legend, during Pope Liberius' (352-366) pontificate, the Virgin Mary appeared in a dream to a Roman aristocrat and asked him to build a chapel on the location where snow would mysteriously fall in the height of summer. The following day, August 5th, snow fell on Rome's Esquiline Hill, prompting the construction of the basilica.

The Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major is an opportunity to commemorate the Virgin Mary and reflect on her role in Church history. It reminds us of her intercession and protection, as well as the significance of devotion to her as an example of faith. It's also an invitation to appreciate the historical and architectural significance of this magnificent basilica, which stands as a witness to the faith and dedication of countless generations.

Let us pray. 

“Ever-living God, your house is a house of prayer and your presence makes it a place of blessing. You give us grace upon grace to build the temple of your Spirit, creating its beauty from the holiness of our lives. In your house, your love is always at work, preparing the Church on earth for heaven itself. Make us, therefore, grateful for your presence and help us join always with your angels and saints in praising your glory. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

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