About That Beautiful Marian Basilica….

Basilica of Saint Mary Major - Interior 1

Early on the morning of March 14, on the first full day of his pontificate, Pope Francis paid a visit to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major).   There, he presented the Virgin with a bouquet of flowers and spent half an hour in prayer.Again flashing that irresistible humility, he asked that the basilica be kept open to the public during his visit.  “I’m a pilgrim,” he said, “and I just want to be one among the pilgrims.”  However, in that case his wishes did not prevail; citi … [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...]