Santa Maria Maggiore

    wikipedia.org

    Today, August 5th, is the dedication of the basilica of Saint Mary Major – Santa Maria Maggiore – the first and foremost of all the churches dedicated to Our Lady. Originally called ‘Our Lady of the Snows’, the legend is that the place for the original church in the mid-fourth century was revealed by a miraculous snowfall in August in Rome over the very dimensions of its intended walls.

    Whatever the historical veracity of this story, what is true is that the basilica was completed under Pope Sixtus III just after the Council of Ephesus in 431, which proclaimed Our Lady truly Theotokos, the ‘Mother of God’, and the glorious church stands as a testament to her holiness and unique place is salvation, and its dedication has been celebrated ever since.