Fr. Bloomfield's Blog

I am a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, currently assigned to Divine Child Parish in Dearborn, Michigan. When I manage to keep the page updated, hopefully something interesting can be found here!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Dedication of Santa Maria Maggiore

Today is the Memorial of the Dedication of the Major Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major) in Rome. The Basilica was dedicated to our Blessed Lady after the Council of Ephesus (431 AD) declared her -- against the Nestorians -- to be Theotokos, the Mother of God. The Basilica is also known as the Basilica of Our Lady of the Snows, owing to the legendary miracle of snow on the Esquiline hill in August, showing where the church should be built.

The Basilica of St. Mary Major is the oldest known church in the West dedicated to our Lady. For more information, go here, here, and here.

Interestingly enough, the most prized relic of the Basilica is the crib of our Lord from Bethlehem, in the confessio beneath the High Altar.