Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Lenten Station At The Papal Basilica Of Saint Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore), Rome. Easter Sunday.

Roman Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

Italic Text from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

Easter Sunday.
      Station at Saint Mary Major.

Plenary Indulgence.

Double of The First-Class
   with Privileged Octave
   of The First-Order.

White Vestments.

Christ is Risen, indeed. Alleluia.
Artist: Rene de Cramer.
"Copyright Brunelmar/Ghent/Belgium".
Used with Permission.

File:SantaMariaMaggiore front.jpg

English: Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Rome.
Italiano: Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Latin: Basilica Sanctae Mariae Maioris.

"Victimae Paschali Laudes"
(Praise The Paschal Victim).
The Sequence for Easter Sunday.
From Notre-Dame de Paris,
Available on YouTube at

"Victimae Paschali Laudes",
The Sequence for Easter Sunday,
is said until the Saturday before Low Sunday,

Victimae paschali laudes
immolent Christiani.

Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
reconciliavit peccatores.

Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus regnat vivus.

Dic nobis, Maria,
quid vidisti in via ?

Sepulcrum Christi viventis:
et gloriam vidi resurgentis.

Angelicos testes,
sudarium, et vestes.

Surrexit Christus spes mes:
praecedet vos in Galilaeam

Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere:
tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere.


Forth to The Paschal Victim,
Christians, bring

Your sacrifice of praise:
The Lamb redeems the sheep;
And Christ The Sinless One,
Hath to The Father sinners reconciled.

Together, death and life
In a strange conflict strove.

The Prince of Life, Who died,
Now lives and reigns.

What thou sawest, Mary, say,
As thou wentest on the way.

I saw the tomb
wherein The Living One had lain,
I saw His Glory as He Rose again;
Napkin and linen clothes,
and Angels twain:

Yea, Christ is Risen,
my hope, and He
Will go before you into Galilee.

We know that Christ indeed
has Risen from the grave.

Hail, Thou King of Victory,
Have Mercy, Lord, and Save.


As at Christmas, The Lenten Station is made at Saint Mary Major, on this Greatest Feast of the whole year. The Church never separates Jesus and Mary, and, today, in one and the same Triumph, she honours The Mother and The Son. Before all else, The Risen Christ offers The Homage of His Gratitude to His Father in Heaven (Introit).

The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
is a Church on The Esquilino, in Rome, Italy.
Photo: October 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Maros M r a z (Maros).
(Wikimedia Commons)

In her turn, The Church gives thanks to God, inasmuch as, by The Victory of His Son, He has re-opened The Way to Heaven, and implores Him to assist us that we may attain this, our final goal (Collect). For this, Saint Paul tells us, just as the Jews eat the Paschal Lamb with the unleavened bread, so we must feast on The Lamb of God, with the unleavened bread of Sincerity and Truth (Epistle and Communion), that is free from the leaven of sin.


English: The Nave, Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Rome.
Deutsch: Basilika Santa Maria Maggiore, Hauptschiff.
Photo: February 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: Bgabel.
Attribution: Bgabel at wikivoyage shared
(Wikimedia Commons)

In the Gospel and the Offertory, we read of the coming of The Holy Women to The Sepulchre to embalm Our Lord. They find an empty tomb, but an Angel proclaims to them The Great Mystery of The Resurrection.

Let us joyfully keep this day on which Our Lord has restored Life to us in His Own Rising from The Dead (Easter Preface), and affirm with The Church that "The Lord is Risen Indeed", and, like Him, make our Easter a passing to an entirely New Way of Life.

Every Parish Priest celebrates Mass for the people of his Parish.

Mass: Resurréxi.

File:Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore 2011 14.jpg

English: Interior of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore,
Rome, Italy.
Česky: Vnitřní prostory Baziliky
Santa Maria MaggioreŘím, Itálie.
Photo: April 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: Karelj.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

The Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Italian: Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, Latin: Basilica Sanctae Mariae Maioris), or Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, is the largest Catholic Marian Church in RomeItaly.

Other Churches in Rome, Dedicated to Mary, include Santa Maria-in-TrastevereSanta Maria-in-Aracoeli, and Santa Maria sopra Minerva, but the greatest size of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major justifies the adjective (Papal Basilica) by which it is distinguished from the other twenty-five.

According to The 1929 Lateran Treaty, the Basilica, located in Italian territory, is owned by The Holy See and enjoys Extra-Territorial Status, similar to that of foreign embassies. The building is patrolled internally by Police agents of Vatican City State, not by Italian Police.

The Church may still sometimes be referred to as "Our Lady of The Snows", a name given to it in The Roman Missal, from 1568 to 1969, in connection with The Liturgical Feast of The Anniversary of its Dedication on 5 August, a Feast that was then denominated "Dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Nives" (Dedication of Saint Mary of The Snows).

This name for the Basilica had become popular in the 14th-Century, in connection with a legend that The 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia reports thus: "During the Pontificate of Liberius, the Roman Patrician, John, and his wife, who were without heirs, made a vow to donate their possessions to The Virgin Mary. They Prayed that she might make known to them how they were to dispose of their property in her honour".

English: Decorated wall murals in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Rome.
Magyar: Santa Maria Maggiore, Róma. A főbejárat feletti belső faldíszítés.
Date: 2008-08-27 (original upload date). Taken on 2005.04.22.
Source: Transferred from hu.wikipedia; transferred to Commons
Author: Original uploader was Kit36a at hu.wikipedia.
(Wikimedia Commons)

On 5 August, at the height of the Roman Summer, snow fell during the night on the summit of The Esquiline Hill. In obedience to a vision of The Virgin Mary, which they had the same night, the couple built a Basilica in honour of Mary on the very spot which was covered with snow.

The legend is first reported only after the year 1000. It may be implied, in what The Liber Pontificalis of the Early-13th-Century says of Pope Liberius: "He built the Basilica of his own name (i.e. the Liberian Basilica) near the Macellum of Livia". Its prevalence in the 15th-Century is shown in the painting of The Miracle of The Snow by Masolino da Panicale.

The Feast was originally called "Dedicatio Sanctae Mariae" (Dedication of Saint Mary's), and was Celebrated only in Rome, until inserted for the first time into The General Roman Calendar, with "ad Nives" added to its name, in 1568. A Congregation, appointed by Pope Benedict XIV in 1741, proposed that the reading of the legend be struck from The Office and that The Feast be given its original name. No action was taken on the proposal until 1969, when the reading of the legend was removed and The Feast was called "In dedicatione Basilicae S. Mariae (Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary)". The legend is still Commemorated by dropping White Rose Petals from the Dome during the Celebration of The Mass and Second Vespers of The Feast.


English: Interior of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Rome.
Português: Capela lateral e parte da nave, Santa Maria MaggioreRoma.
Date: 2005.
Source: Taken by Ricardo André Frantz.
Author: Ricardo André Frantz (User:Tetraktys).
(Wikimedia Commons)

The earliest building on the site was the Liberian Basilica, or Santa Maria Liberiana, after Pope Liberius (352 A.D. - 366 A.D.). This name may have originated from the same legend, which recounts that, like John and his wife, Pope Liberius was told in a dream of the forthcoming Summer snowfall, went in procession to where it did occur and there marked out the area on which the Church was to be built. "Liberiana" is still included in some versions of the Basilica's formal name, and "Liberian Basilica" may be used as a contemporary, as well as historical, name.

No Catholic Church can be honoured with the title of Basilica unless by Apostolic Grant or from Immemorial Custom. Saint Mary Major is one of the only four Basilicas that today hold the Title of Major Basilica. The other three are Saint John LateranSaint Peter, and Saint Paul-without-the-Walls. (The Title of Major Basilica was once used more widely, being attached, for instance, to the Basilica of Saint Mary of The Angels, in Assisi.) All the other Catholic Churches that, either by Grant of the Pope or by Immemorial Custom, hold the Title of Basilica, are Minor Basilicas.

Until 2006, the four Major Basilicas, together with the Basilica of Saint Laurence-without-the-Walls, were referred to as the five "Patriarchal Basilicas" of Rome, associated with the five ancient Patriarchal Sees of Christendom (see Pentarchy). Saint Mary Major was associated with the Patriarchate of Antioch. In the same year, the title of "Patriarchal" was also removed from the Basilica of Saint Francis, in Assisi.

File:Santa Maria Maggiore (Rome) 02.jpg

English: Cupola over a Side-Altar in
the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Rome.
Deutsch: Santa Maria Maggiore Rom,
Kuppel eines Seitenaltars.
Photo: February 2008.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The former five Patriarchal Basilicas, with the Basilica of The Holy Cross-in -Jerusalem, and San Sebastiano-fuori-le-mura, formed the Traditional Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome, which are visited by Pilgrims during their Pilgrimage to Rome, following a twenty-kilometres (twelve miles) itinerary, established by Saint Philip Neri on 25 February 1552, especially when seeking The Plenary Indulgence on Holy Years. For The Great Jubilee of 2000, Pope John Paul II replaced Saint Sebastian's Church with The Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love.

It's agreed that the present Basilica was built in the Reign of Pope Sixtus III (432 A.D. - 440 A.D.). The Dedicatory Inscription on The Triumphal Arch, "Sixtus Episcopus plebi Dei" (Sixtus the Bishop to the people of God) is an indication of that Pope's role in the construction. As well as this Church on the summit of The Esquiline Hill, Pope Sixtus III is said to have commissioned extensive building projects throughout the City, which were continued by his successor, Pope Leo I, (The Great).

Church Building in Rome in this period, as exemplified in Saint Mary Major, was inspired by the idea of Rome being, not just The Centre of The World of The Roman Empire, as it was seen in The Classical Period, but The Centre of The Christian World.

File:Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore 2011 8.jpg

English: Interior of Basilica di Santa Maria MaggioreRome, Italy.
Česky: Vnitřní prostory Baziliky Santa Maria MaggioreŘím, Itálie.
Photo: April 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: Karelj.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the first Churches built in honour of The Virgin Mary, was erected in the immediate aftermath of The Council of Ephesus of 431 A.D., which proclaimed Mary, Mother of God. Pope Sixtus III built it to Commemorate this decision.

When the Popes returned to Rome after the period of The Avignon Papacy, the buildings of the Basilica became a temporary Palace of the Popes, due to the deteriorated state of The Lateran Palace. The Papal Residence was later moved to The Palace of the Vatican, in what is now Vatican City.

File:Piazza Esquilino, Santa Maria Maggiore.JPG

The Basilica of Saint Mary Major
(Santa Maria Maggiore)
seen from the Piazza Esquilino,
Rome, Italy.
Photo: March 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: Sixtus.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Basilica was restored, re-decorated and extended by various Popes, including Eugene III (1145–1153), Nicholas IV (1288–1292), Clement X (1670–1676), and Benedict XIV (1740–1758), who, in the 1740s, commissioned Ferdinando Fuga to build the present façade and to modify the Interior. The Interior of Santa Maria Maggiore underwent a broad renovation, encompassing all of its Altars, between 1575 and 1630.

The original architecture of Santa Maria Maggiore was Classical, and Traditionally Roman, perhaps to convey the idea that Santa Maria Maggiore represented Old Imperial Rome, as well as its Christian future.



Available (in U.K.) from

Available (in U.S.A.) from

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...