Today's Saint

Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major

Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major (Our Lady of the Snows), Rome in 435 on the Esquiline Hill.

Today the Church celebrates the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major. The Basilica is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary the Mother of God. Founded by Pope Liberius in the 4th century, it was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin by Pope St. Sixtus III around 435.

It is also called Santa Maria ad Nives (St. Mary of the Snow) because a miraculous snow fell upon the area in summer in the exact outline of the building. Around the same time, a patrician named John had a vision of the Virgin requesting the building of the church, and he donated the money to build it. On some calendars, this day is celebrated as Our Lady of the Snows.

The Holy Manger of Bethlehem is on display in a large subterranean chapel in the church. Saints Jerome and Paula devoutly touched this presumed relic when it was still in Bethlehem.


1. The month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Today is a special day to honor Mary the Mother of God. Pray that she will intercede for your intentions and those of your loved ones.

2. Pray a prayer of consecration, or dedication, to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As in her Magnificat, she refers all to the Lord. Ask her to hold you in her Heart in union with the Heart of her Son, her and our Lord Jesus Christ.

From Johnnette Benkovic’s Graceful Living: Meditations to Help You Grow Closer to God Day by Day

Click the image above to purchase your own copy of “Graceful Living.”

“Who can put Mary’s high honor into words? She is both mother and virgin. I am overwhelmed by the wonder of this miracle. . . . Behold then the joy of the whole universe. Let the union of God and man in the Son of the Virgin Mary fill us with awe and adoration. Let us fear and worship the undivided Trinity as we sing the praise of the ever-virgin Mary, the holy temple of God, and of God Himself, her Son and spotless Bridegroom.”

— From a homily of St. Cyril of Alexandria at the Council of Ephesus

Mary is called the “holy temple of God.” How many com­monalities can I think of between Mary and a temple (or church)? What does this tell me about Our Lady? What does this tell me about my parish church?

Other Saints We Remember Today

St. Emygdius (304) Bishop, Martyr, invoked against earthquakes

image: By User:MatthiasKabel [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5 ], from Wikimedia Commons