Mary’s Story in Marble and Bronze

Column of the Immaculate Conception

In Rome’s Piazza Mignanelli, just southwest of the Piazza di Spagna, stands the Column of the Immaculate Conception.  On Sunday, December 8, continuing a tradition of Popes since 1857, Pope Francis visited the Column to pray and to lay a wreath of roses before the bronze statue of the Virgin Mary.Vatican Radio reports: The celebration began with a reading from the book of Revelation in which Mary is described as a “woman, clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and around her h … [Read more...]

Summer Snowfall Interrupted: Vandals Spoil the Fun at Rome Basilica

St. Mary Major - Side altar

At the beginning of each of the ten videos in Fr. Robert Barron’s “Catholicism” series, there is a scene in which thousands of white rose petals drift downward from the ceiling at Rome’s Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major).  It’s a breathtaking symbol of the “miracle of the snow”—the rare summer snowfall which, according to legend, fell on August 5, 352, on the Esquiline Hill, one of the famed “Seven Hills” of Rome.It’s a scene that’s recreated each year on August 6, when the Ba … [Read more...]

Without Sin. Always. How Great Would That Be?!

“I Am the Immaculate Conception.”The young girl shook her head—she didn’t understand what she was hearing.  The Lady had just told her who she was, but it made no sense to Bernadette.  She had never heard those mysterious words before. *     *     *     *     * Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous, the illiterate daughter of a miller, eighteen times at the grotto of Massabielle, near the small town of Lourdes in southwest Fr … [Read more...]