Today the Church celebrates the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.
August 5, 2011. (Romereports.com) According to tradition, on the morning of August 5th, back in the year 358, the Esquiline Hill in Rome was completely covered in snow. In an apparition, the Virgin promised pope Liberius that this would happen.
Because of this the Basilica of Santa Maria di Maggiore or St. Mary Major, was built in that very area. It’s still one of the most important churches of the Eternal City.
It’s not only a historic basilica. It also has a special relationship with Rome. Inside the Church stands the icon of the Madonna Salus Populi Romani, which translates to “The Protectress of Rome.”
Ever since the year 358, every August 5th is celebrated with a Mass and the traditional
“snowfall” of white petals. It’s a way to commemorate that one white morning and also a way to enjoy this architectural masterpiece.