The visit to St Mary Majors Basilica helps us to enter into the heart of the Christian faith contemplating the God who became man to accompany man on his journey. The Basilica conserves the Lord’s manger from Bethlehem and the splendid mosaics give a marvellous catechesis on the mystery of Christ’s incarnation.
A venerable tradition tells the story of the Basilica’s foundation. A rich Roman patrician named Giovanni and his wife were un able to have children ad so they wanted to donate their wealth to the Church. In the night of the 4th – 5th August 352 the Virgin Mary appeared to Giovanni and Pope Liberius I (352-366) in a dream asking them to build a Basilica in her name in the place where snow falls! The following morning Giovanni and Pope Liberius went to the Equine hill where snow had fallen over night. The Pope outlined the dimensions of the Basilica in the fresh snow. St Mary Majors Basilica was by Pope Liberius and is also called the Liberian basilica. Pope Sixtus III, after the Council of Ephesus (431AD) dedicated the Basilica to Mary, Mother of God.
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