Saint Mary Majors Basilica and Saint Prassede


The visit to St Mary Majors Basilica helps the young people 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.

The visit to the nearby Basilica St Prassede permits the young people to follow the shadow of St Peter in Rome and to see the column that Jesus was tied to during his scourging. The mosaics represent scenes from the Book of Apocalypse and eternal life.
To make a school booking, please complete the electronic booking form by clicking on the following link:

Electronic Booking Form