This Basilica of Our Lady of the Snows, called also St. Mary Major, was built on the Esquiline at Rome by St. Liberius, Pope from 353 to 366. Popular tradition relates that the site was traced out by a miraculous fall of snow on this date, which is that of the Feast of the Church's dedication.
INTROIT ¤ Sedulius
|Salve, sancta Parens, enixa puerpera Regem: qui coelum, terramque regit in saecula saeculorum. -- Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi. V.: Gloria Patri . . . -- Salve, sancta Parens . . .||Hail, holy Parent, that didst bring forth the King who ruleth Heaven and earth for ever and ever. -- (Ps. 44. 2). My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak of my works to the King. V.: Glory be to the Father . . . -- Hail, holy Parent . . .|
COLLECT.--Grant to us, Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body: and through the intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin may be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy everlasting gladness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth . . .
EPISTLE ¤ Eccli. 24. 14-16
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
[Wisdom (here a figure of the Blessed Virgin) speaks, of herself: her origin, her dwelling, her dignity and her fruits.]
From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before Him. And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem. And I took root in an honorable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of Saints.
|Benedicta et venerabilis es, Virgo Maria: quae sine tactu pudoris, inventa es Mater Salvatoris. V.: Virgo Dei Genitrix, quem totus non capit orbis, in tua se clausit viscera factus homo.
Alleluia, alleluia. V.: Post partum Virgo inviolata permansisti: Dei Genitrix, intercede pro nobis. Alleluia.
|Thou art blessed and venerable, O Virgin Mary, who without any violation of purity wert found the Mother of our Savior. V.: Virgin Mother of God, He whom the whole world cannot hold enclosed Himself in thy womb, being made man.
Alleluia, alleluia. V.: After childbirth thou didst remain a Virgin: O Mother of God, intercede for us. Alleluia.
GOSPEL ¤ Luke 11. 27-28
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
[The holy Mother of God is blessed among women.]
At that time, as Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to Him: Blessed is the womb that bore Thee and the paps that gave Thee suck. But He said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.
OFFERTORY ¤ Luke 1. 28, 42
|Ave, Maria, gratia plena: Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui.||Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb.|
SECRET.--By Thy gracious mercy, O Lord, and by the intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, may this oblation avail us for peace and welfare both now and for evermore. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity . . .
Preface of the Blessed Virgin Mary
|Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus. Et te in Festivitate beatae Mariae semper Virginis collaudare, benedicere, et praedicare. Quae et Unigenitum tuum Sancti Spiritus obumbratione concepit: et virginitatis gloria permanente, lumen aeternum mundo effudit, Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Coeli, coelorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim, socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti jubeas deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes:||It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: and that we should praise and bless, and proclaim Thee, in the Festivity of the Blessed Mary, ever-Virgin: Who also conceived Thine only-begotten Son by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, and the glory of her virginity still abiding, gave forth to the world the everlasting Light, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, and the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with these we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted while we say with lowly praise:|
|Beata viscera Mariae Virginis, quae portaverunt aeterni Patris Filium.||Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the Eternal Father.|
POSTCOMMUNION.--O Lord, grant, we beseech Thee, that we who have received these aids unto salvation, may be always and everywhere protected by the intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, in veneration of whom we have offered up these gifts to Thy Majesty. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .