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Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!

August 5th brings the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows, named for a miraculous snowfall in Rome on that day in the year 352 A.D. A wealthy, childless couple decided to make the Mother of God their legal heiress. Pope Liberius suggested that they pray to Our Lady and ask for a sign that this was acceptable. The sign requested was that snow would fall on the crest of the Esquiline Hill. Impossible as this should be, the sign was granted and during the night of August 5th, snow fell on the crest of the Esquiline Hill, where the Mother of God directed a church should be built. In place of that original church now stands the grand Basilica of St. Mary Major ("Major" indicating "great," to distinguish it from other Roman churches dedicated to the Mother of God).

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