Today in the old calender is the feast of the Dedication of St Mary Major. I particularly enjoyed visiting this basilica, which is the oldest basilica dedicated to our Lady. It has a shrine where St Jerome is buried, and contains a relic of the nativity crib.
According to tradition, the outline of the church was physically laid out on the ground of the noble's property by Liberius himself under a miraculous but predicted snowfall that took place on the night August 4-5 352. The legendary Miracle of the Snow was depicted by Masaccio and Masolino about 1423 in a triptych commissioned by a member of the Colonna family for the Basilica, now conserved in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples. In it the miracle is witnessed by a crowd of holy men and women and observed from above by Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Snows, local Roman Catholics commemorate the miracle on each anniversary by dropping white rose petals from the dome during the feast mass.(from wikipedia!) What a beautiful legend. The photos I took in November 2007 on our trip to Rome.