Dedication of St. Mary Major in Rome
Posted from acatholiclife.blogspot.com
Greater Double (1955 Calendar): August 5 Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar):
August 5 While each diocese and parish keeps its own dedication anniversary, the universal Church commemorates the consecration of the four great Roman basilicas, called the Major Basilicas: St. John Lateran, St. Peter, St. Paul Outside the Walls, and St. Mary Major. Today we commemorate the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major. It is also called Liberian Basilica and Our Lady of the Snows, because of the miracle that occurred there. On the night of August 4-5 in the year 358 AD, snow began to fall on the location where St. Mary Major is located. This of course is a miracle considering it fell on that small location in the heat of August.
According to Tradition, the Virgin Mary appeared in a dream to two faithful Catholics, the patrician John and his wife, as well as to Pope Liberius (352-366), asking them to build a church in her honor where the snow would fall on the night of August 4-5. Pope Liberius went and traced the outlines of the church in the snow, and the first basilica was built on that site. However, it was completed nearly a century later by Pope Sixtus III (432-440) following the Council of Ephesus in 431 during which Mary was declared to be the Mother of God. The Importance:
St. Mary Major is important to Christendom for three reasons:
(a) It stands as a venerable monument to the Council of Ephesus (431), at which the dogma of Mary’s divine Motherhood was solemnly defined; the definition of the Council occasioned a most notable increase in the veneration paid to Mary.
(b) The basilica is Rome’s “church of the crib,” a kind of Bethlehem within the Eternal City; it also is a celebrated station church, serving, for instance, as the center for Rome’s liturgy for the first Mass on Christmas. In some measure every picture of Mary with the divine Child is traceable to this church.
(c) St. Mary Major is Christendom’s first Marian shrine for pilgrims. It set the precedent for the countless shrines where pilgrims gather to honor our Blessed Mother throughout the world. Here was introduced an authentic expression of popular piety that has been the source of untold blessings and graces for Christianity in the past as in the present.
Source: The Church’s Year of Grace by Pius Parsch via Catholic Culture
From the Writings of the Little Daughter of the Divine Will,
8/15/38 – Vol. 36
The Feast of Assumption is the Most Beautiful, the Most Sublime Feast. It is the Feast of the Divine Will Operating in the Heavenly Queen.
While my mind was swimming in the Sea of the Divine Will, I stopped at the Act in which my Mother and Queen was Assumed into Heaven. How many Wonders, how many Enrapturing Surprises of Love. And my Sweet Jesus, as if He Felt the need to Speak about His Celestial Mother, all festive Told me: “My blessed daughter, today is the Feast of Assumption. This is the Most Beautiful, the Most Sublime, and the Greatest Feast, in which We Remain Glorified, Loved and Honored The Most! Heaven and earth Are Invested with an Unusual Joy, never before felt. The Angels and the Saints feel as if Invested with New Joys and New Happiness, and they all praise with New Songs the Sovereign Queen who, in Her Empire, Rules over all, giving Joy to all!
“Today is the Feast of Feasts—the Unique One, the New One, which was never repeated again. Today, the Day of the Assumption, Celebrated for the first time the Divine Will Operating in the Sovereign Queen and Lady; the Marvels are Enchanting in each of Her Smallest Acts, even in Her breathing, in Her motion. Many of Our Divine Lives can be seen Flowing in Her Act as many Kings that, more than bright suns, Inundate—Surround and Embellish Her—Making Her so Beautiful as to form the Enchantment of the Celestial Regions. Do you think it’s nothing that each one of Her Breaths, Motions, Works and Pains were Filled with many of Our Divine Lives? This is exactly the Great Prodigy of My Will Operating in the creature: to Form a Divine Life for each time It could enter the motion and the acts of the creature. Then, since My Fiat Possesses the Virtue of Bilocation and Repetition—Doing again and again without ceasing everything She does—so the Great Lady feels These Divine Lives Multiplied within Herself, that do nothing other than further Extend Her Seas of Love, Beauty, Power and Infinite Wisdom! You must know that the Divine Lives She possesses are so Great and So Many that, upon Entering Heaven, They Crowded the whole Celestial Region and, being impossible to contain Them, They Filled the whole Creation as well. Therefore, there is no place where Her Seas of Love and Power do not flow, along with the many of Our Lives of which She is Possessor and Queen.
“We can say that She Dominates Us and that We Dominate Her. By Clothing Herself with Our Immensity, Power and Love, She Populated All Our Attributes with Her Acts and with the many of Our Divine Lives that She had Conquered! Therefore, from every place and everywhere, We feel Ourselves being Loved and Glorified—Inside and Outside of Ourselves, from within all created things, in the most remote hiding places—by this Celestial Creature and by Those same Divine Lives that Our Fiat Formed in Her. O! Power of Our Will, only You can do such Prodigies to make Us Loved and Glorified as We Deserve and Want—to the extent of Creating many of Our Lives in the One who lets You Dominate. This is why She can give Her God to all, because She Possesses Him. Even more, when She Sees a creature disposed to receive Our Will, without losing one of Our Divine Lives, She Has the Virtue of Reproducing, from within These Divine Lives that She Possesses, yet another of Our Divine Lives to give to whomever she wants.
“This Virgin Queen is a Continuous Prodigy. What She Did on earth, She Continues in Heaven; because, when the Divine Will Operates, both in the creature and in Ourselves, Her Acts never end, and, while remaining in It, They can be given to all. Does the sun, perhaps, cease to give its light to the human generation because it has given too much of it? Not atall. Even if it has given much, it is always rich in its light, and does not lose a single drop of it. Therefore, the Glory of This Queen is Insuperable because She Possesses Our Operating Will, that has the Virtue of Forming in the creature Eternal and Infinite Acts. She Loves Us Always and Unceasingly with Our Lives that She Possesses. She Loves Us with Our Own Love. She Loves Us Everywhere. Her Love Fills Heaven and earth and runs to pour itself inside Our Divine Womb. And We Love Her so much that We Cannot Live without Loving Her. While, in Loving Us, She Loves all, making everyone Love Us. How could We Resist and not give her anything She wants? It is Our Own Will That Asks for What She wants, Tying Us with Its Eternal Bonds So That We can refuse her nothing. This is why the Feast of the Assumption is the Most Beautiful one: it is the Feast of My Will Operating, in This Great Lady, making Her So Rich and Beautiful That the Heavens Cannot Contain Her. Even the Angels remain speechless, and don’t know how to describe what My Will Does in the creature.”
After this, while my mind remained stupefied in thinking about the Great Prodigies that the Divine Fiat Worked and Continues to Work in the Celestial Queen, my beloved Jesus Added: “My daughter, Her Beauty is Unreachable. It Enchants, It Charms, It Conquers. Her Love is such that She offers Herself to all, Loving all—leaving behind her Seas of Love. She can be called Queen of Love, Winner of Love, because She loved much, and through Love She won Her God. You must know that, by doing his will, man broke the bonds with his Creator and with all created things. By the Power of Our Fiat, that She Possessed, this Heavenly Queen Tied Her Creator to the creatures; Tied All beings together—United them—put them back in Order and with Her Love, Gave New Life to the human generations. Her Love was So Great as to cover and hide, inside Its Seas, weaknesses, evils, sin—the creatures themselves. O! If this Holy Virgin did Not Possess so much Love, it would be difficult For Us to look at the earth. Only Her Love Makes Us Look at it, but We Want to give Our Will to Reign in the middle of the creatures because She Wants It so. She wants to give to her children what She Possesses, and by Love She Will Win Us And Her children.”