The Sign of Our Lady of the Snows

August 5 – Dedication of Santa Maria Maggiore: Miracle of the Snow

According to tradition, the Blessed Virgin herself inspired the building of the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore (St Mary Major) in Rome, as early as the 4th century A.D.

She appeared in a dream to a patrician named John and to Pope Liberius, and asked for a church to be built and dedicated to her, in a place that she would miraculously indicate. In the morning of the 5th of August, the Esquiline Hill appeared covered with snow. The pope traced the perimeter of the new church and John provided the financing. Pope Sixtus III celebrated its dedication in 435, right after the Council of Ephesus (431), which recognized the title of Theotokos, “Mother of God” for the Blessed Virgin.

The Basilica Saint Mary Major, the first Marian basilica in the West and the most important of all the churches dedicated to the Mother of God in Rome, is also the only one of the four patriarchal basilicas in Rome that has conserved its paleo-Christian structures. The miraculous icon “Salus Populi Romani” and relics of the manger are venerated there, and the “Miracle of the Snow” is recalled each year on the 5th of August by a solemn celebration, during which a rain of white petals is dropped from the ceiling of the church on the assembly.

Prayer to Our Lady of the Snows

Our Lady of the Snows, Immaculate Queen of the Universe, from this privileged sanctuary, Thou has bestowed so many countless graces and pledges of love upon the hearts and souls of millions. O Mother, from this cradle of Christianity, this Mother Church of all churches, deign to shower forth the graces of thine Immaculate Heart upon the remnant Faithful throughout the world, wherever they may be, and grant them the graces of a childlike love and unwavering fidelity to the holy truths of our Faith. Grant, good Mother, to the faithful Bishops of the Church the grace to defend Her Sacred Teachings, and to persevere courageously against all the enemies of the Holy Church. Amen.

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3 Responses to The Sign of Our Lady of the Snows

  1. Joni says:

    Thank you for this beautiful story. I love Our Lady Of the Snows! I also love the shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL. God bless and keep up the good work.


  2. Jean says:

    Praise to you Lady of snow,o peaceful one who turns to peace.Make light for us so we can see your beauty.Praise to you,Lady of heaven,open your celestials arms to your children,the homeless,the poor,the gay,the sicks.and shelter us all.Turn to us loving one who knows forgiveness.May you give us life,prosperity and health,love and joy.
    Jean Chatelain


  3. Pingback: AUGUST 5: OUR LADY OF THE SNOWS. Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major (Rome) | Catholics Striving for Holiness

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