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Catholic Word of the Day: OUR LADY PROTECTRESS OF ROME (SALUS POPULI ROMANI), 12-09-09 ^ | 12-09-09 | Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary

Posted on 12/09/2009 10:14:12 AM PST by Salvation

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All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.


Shrine of Our Lady Protectress of Rome, also called Santa Maria Maggiore. The original basilica of the Blessed Virgin was built about A.D. 350 and was called Santa Maria ad Nives because of the legend that the location of the church was determined by the appearance of snow on the Esquiline Hill on a summer day. The first treasure of the present church is a miraculous image of the Madona with the Infant Jesus attributed to St. Luke and said to have been brought by St. Helena from the Holy Land. Historians rate the painting as being at least 1500 years old. The citizens of Rome flock to the basilica whenever their city is in danger. In 597, Pope Gregory I carried the painting in solemn procession to St. Peter's when Rome was being decimated by the Black Plague; and when Anzio, only twenty miles away, was being bombed in World War II, the shrine thronged day and night by the Roman faithful. The original church was built in the fourth century. When Pope Sixtus III rebuilt it in the fifth century, he gave it the further title of Santa Maria ad Praesepe (St. Mary of the Crib) because part of the original manger from Bethlehem was in the basilica's crypt. Pope Pius XII said his first Mass before Mary's altar in this cathedral, and in 1939 he pontificated at a Mass of thanksgiving at the same altar.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist
St. Mary Major! The Latin phrase describes this better than the English in my estimation.
1 posted on 12/09/2009 10:14:15 AM PST by Salvation
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To: JRandomFreeper; Allegra; SuziQ; BlackVeil; Straight Vermonter; Cronos; SumProVita; ...

Catholic Word of the Day – links will be provided later by another FReeper.







Episcopal Curia


Canonical Age

Paschal Candle

Doctrinal Demythology

Pro Armenis




Roman Martyrology

Greek Rites

Anglican Orders





Feast of the Visitation

Our Lady Protectress of Rome (Salus Populi Romani)





Catholic Word of the Day Ping!

Please send me a FReepmail if you would like to be on the Catholic Word of the Day Ping List.

2 posted on 12/09/2009 10:18:49 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Patriarchal Basilica of St. Mary Major by Deacon Steve.
The façade is the magnificent work of Ferdinand Fuga (1741), and faces east, opening in a portico of five arcades on the lower story and three arches in the upper loggia, which covers the thirteenth-century mosaics of the previous façade.

Like precious gems set into the façade, the mosaics illustrate the origin of the Basilica. In the first scene, the Blessed Virgin appears to Pope Liberius and the Roman Patrician John in the dream that will inspire the location of the new basilica. An exceptional event would confirm the divine will - on August 5, 358, a snowfall covered the Esquiline Hill and in this snow, the Pope traced the perimeter of the future basilica.

Filippo Rusuti's majestic mosaics welcome visitors, arousing sentiments which draw man closer to the greatness of God. These precious remnants can only be visited through a special guided tour that gratifies the interest of those who contemplate these works of art.

Both in the loggia and in the façade, Fuga's Baroque tastes and vivid sense of space are amply demonstrated by his architecture. The lower five arches form the portico and support the triple arch of the loggia. This play of open space lightens the heaviness of the columns and their decorative capitals, entablatures, cornices, garlands and cherubs.

The statues accentuating the outline of the façade represent saintly Popes, as well as Saint Charles Borromeo and the Blessed Nicholas Albergati. Crowning the ensemble, as if hovering over from Heaven above, are the Madonna and Child. The façade seems almost like a tabernacle, allowing glimpses of the shimmering, polychrome mosaic concealed behind it.

The foundation stone for this façade was laid on March 4, 1741 by Pope Benedict XIV. Many eighteenth-century sculptors contributed to this remarkable project. The works both within and outside of the Basilica were completed just in time for the Jubilee Year 1750.

One hundred and fifty years separate the construction of the two palaces flanking the façade. Flaminio Ponzio built the structure on the right in 1605, while the second building was designed by Ferdinando Fuga in 1743 to give an overall uniformity to the site. Two graceful allegorical statues surmount the central entrance - Virginity by Giovanni Battista Maini, and Humility, carved by Pietro Bracci, who is also known for his sculptures at the Trevi Fountain.


3 posted on 12/09/2009 10:28:17 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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