The event recalls August 5, 358, when it snowed in the middle of the harsh Roman summer. According to tradition, Our Lady appeared in a dream to Pope Liberius, asking him to erect a basilica in the center of Rome.
Newsroom (August 5, 2021 12:03 PM, Gaudium Press) This year’s celebration recalls the miracle of Our Lady of the Snows in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, one of the four papal basilicas in Rome. It will be dedicated to the “generous heart of Pope Francis.”
The event recalls the events that occurred on August 5, 358, when it snowed in the middle of the Roman summer. According to tradition, Our Lady appeared in a dream to Pope Liberius, asking him to erect a basilica on the spot. The following day, the Pontiff outlined the area where he would build the Basilica dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows.
Symbol of hope and love
Cesare Esposito is the creator of the project evoking the miracle of Our Lady of the Snows in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. He sent a letter to Francis inviting him to follow the event taking place today (9:00 pm Italian time), to witness the Virgin’s evocation, “so that it may become a symbol of hope and love for all the faithful and for the city.”
In his message, Mr. Esposito recalled the many difficulties he faced while creating the first snowfall in 1983. He also highlighted the importance of the event, attended by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1987, who gave a speech about the miracle of the snow.
Solemnity of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major
The commemoration starts in the morning, Solemnity of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major. During Mass, a traditional shower of flowers at the singing of the Gloria will recall the “miracle of the snow.” It will be followed in the afternoon by the recitation of the Holy Rosary and Solemn Vespers, featuring a new shower of flowers during the Magnificat. Finally, in the evening, the closing Mass of the feast will be celebrated. Once again, “the miracle of the snow” will be reenacted in front of the Basilica.
In 2020, the Basilica received a visit from Pope Francis. The Pontiff prayed before the image of the Salus Populi Romani. Francis always entrusts to her his apostolic trips, paying homage to her before his departure and after his return. (EPC)
Compiled by Gustavo Kralj