Sunday, 5 August 2018

# Saints

Our Lady of the Snows

The 5th of August is the feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major (In Dedicatione basilicae S. Mariae), which up to 1969 was known as the Dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Nives (Dedication of the Church of Our Lady of the Snows).

The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

(“Dedicatio Sanctæ Mariæ ad Nives”).

A feast celebrated on 5 August to commemorate the dedication of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. The church was originally built by Pope Liberius (352-366) and was called after him “Basilica Liberii” or “Liberiana”. It was restored by Pope Pope Sixtus III (432-440) and dedicated to Our Lady. From that time on it was known as “Basilica S. Mariæ” or “Mariæ Majoris”; since the seventh century it was known also as “Maria ad Præsepe”. The appellation “ad Nives” (of the snow) originated a few hundred years later, as did also the legend which gave this name to the church. The legend runs thus: During the pontificate of Liberius, the Roman patrician John and his wife, who were without heirs, made a vow to donate their possessions to Our lady. They prayed to her that she might make known to them in what manner they were to dispose of their property in her honour. On 5 August, during the night, snow fell on the summit of the Esquiline Hill and, in obedience to a vision which they had the same night, they built a) basilica, in honour of Our Lady, on the spot which was covered with snow. From the fact that no mention whatever is made of this alleged miracle until a few hundred years later, not even by Sixtus III in his eight-lined dedicatory inscription [edited by de Rossi, “Inscript. Christ.”, II, I (Rome, 1888), 71; Grisar (who has failed to authenticate the alleged miracle), “Analecta Romana”, I (Rome, 1900), 77; Duchesne, “Liber Pontificalis”, I (Paris, 1886), 235; Marucchi, “Eléments d’archéologie chrétienne”, III (Paris and Rome, 1902), 155, etc.] it would seem that the legend has no historical basis. Originally the feast was celebrated only at Sta Maria Maggiore; in the fourteenth century it was extended to all the churches of Rome and finally it was made a universal feast by Pius V. Clement VIII raised it from a feast of double rite to double major. The mass is the common one for feasts of the Blessed Virgin; the office is also the common one of the Bl. Virgin, with the exception of the second Nocturn, which is an account of the alleged miracle. The congregation, which Benedict XIV instituted for the reform of the Breviary in 1741, proposed that the reading of the legend be struck from the Office and that the feast should again receive its original name, “Dedicatio Sanctæ Mariæ”.

Analecta Juris Pontificii, XXIV (Rome, 1885), 915; HOLWECK, Fasti Mariani (Freiburg, 1892), 164-6.

MICHAEL OTT

Image: The Miracle of the Snow by Masolino da Panicale. Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary observe Pope Liberius, who marks in the legendary snowfall the outline of the basilica.

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Our Lady of Medjugorje

February 2, 2019 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, the love and goodness of the Heavenly Father give revelations, which make faith grow, for it to be interpreted, that it may bring peace, certainty and hope. In this way, I, too, my children, through the merciful love of the Heavenly Father, always, anew, am showing you the way to my Son, to eternal salvation. But, unfortunately, many of my children do not want to hear me; many of my children are of two minds. And I always, in time and beyond time, magnified the Lord for all that He has done in me and through me. My Son gives Himself to you and breaks the bread with you. He speaks the words of eternal life to you so that you may carry them to everyone. And you, my children, apostles of my love, what are you afraid of when my Son is with you? Offer your souls to Him so that He can be in them and that He can make you instruments of faith, instruments of love. My children, live the Gospel, live merciful love for your neighbors, and, above all, live love for the Heavenly Father. My children, you are not united by chance. The Heavenly Father does not unite anyone by chance. My Son speaks to your souls. I speak to your heart. As a mother I am saying to you: set out with me, love one another, and give witness. Do not be afraid, with your example, to defend the truth - the Word of God, which is eternal and never changes. My children, whoever acts in the light of merciful love and truth is always helped by Heaven and is not alone. Apostles of my love, may you always be recognized among all others by your hiddenness, love and radiance. I am with you. Thank you.

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