Dedication of Saint Mary Major Basilica

Feast day: August 5

One of the four Roman basilicas that have come to be recognized as patriarchal churches in honor of the original Church centers is St. Mary Major. St. Mary Major's main structure, though, is still intact. Over the ages, it has been enhanced, expanded, and redecorated.

The Blessed Virgin Mary allegedly visited a wealthy nobleman in Rome in August 352, according to tradition. On the site where he would discover snow, she requested that a church be constructed. Snow did miraculously appear on that summer day, and a church was erected there and named after Our Lady of the Snows.

The Liberian Basilica received its name from the fact that it was established during the reign of Pope Liberius in the fourth century and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary by Sixtus III soon after Mary's title as the Mother of God was reiterated by the Council of Ephesus in 431

The event on August 5 was renamed "The Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major" in 1969, following the Second Vatican Council.

Every year on August 5th, white rose petals are showered from the basilica's dome to remind visitors of Mary's miracle of summer snowfall.

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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