Prayers, Quips and Quotes: Our Lady of the Snows, Feast day August 5


Our Lady of the Snows Saint Mary Major
Our Lady of the Snows
Saint Mary Major

The feast day of Our Lady of the Snows is celebrated on August 5.  It is on this day the Basilica of Mary Major was dedicated.

A man by the name of John lived in the ancient city of Rome.  He and his wife were childless.  They chose to leave their fortune to Mary, the Mother of God.  Pope Liberius suggessted that they pray for a sign to guide them in what she wished them to do.

On the evening of August 5, Our Lady appeared to John, his wife and the Pope asking for a church to be built in her honor on the Esquiline Hill.  John and his wife asked for a sign .   She told them:

“Snow will crown the crest of the hill.”

Although it snows only on rare occasions in Rome the snow covered the hill during the summer night of August 5, 358.  The snow fell in a patter showing the outline of the church soon to be built.

Mary soon became known as Our Lady of the Snows.  Snow symbolizes that Mary is as ‘pure as the driven snow’.  Her many blessings may be compared to the number and variety of snowflakes.

The church built is now known as Saint Mary Major.  It has since been enlarged and restored.  Other names it has been known as are Basilica of Liberius, Saint Mary of the Crib and finally Saint Mary Major.

A statue of Our Lady of the Snows is believed to have been produced by St. Luke the Apostle.

Mary is always performing these two movements:  absorbing grace from her most holy son, and pouring it forth on sinners.

Quote of St. Anthony Mary Claret;   Feast day October 24

August is the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary




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