Dedication of St Mary Major


The Dedication of Saint Mary Major, previously known as Dedicatio Sanctæ Mariæ ad Nives (Dedication of the Church of Our Lady of the Snows), is a liturgical feast day celebrated on August 5 in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. In the Roman Catholic calendar of saints it has the rank of optional memorial, and in the General Roman Calendar of 1962 it is third-class feast. It commemorates the dedication of the restored Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore by Pope Sixtus III just after the First Council of Ephesus. This major basilica, located on the summit of the Esquiline Hill in Rome, is called the Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Latin: Basilica Sancta Mariæ Majoris) because it is the largest church in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The church was originally built during the pontificate of Pope Liberius, and is thus sometimes known as the “Basilica Liberii” or “Basilica Liberiana”.

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About Author

Fr. Anthony Casamento

Fr Anthony is a priest of the Congregation of St Michael the Archangel, and is currently the Director of Identity and Mission at the Australian Catholic University.