Dedication of the Church of Our Lady of the Snow
In the time of Pope Liberius, there lived at Rome a certain nobleman named John and a noble lady his wife, who had no children to whom to leave their substance. Then they vowed that they would make the most holy Virgin Mother of God their heiress, and earnestly besought her in some way to make known to them upon what godly work she would that the money should be spent. The Blessed Virgin Mary graciously listened to their prayers and heart-felt earnestness, and by a miracle assured them of her will.
On the 5th day of August, which is that time when the heat of summer waxeth greatest in Rome, a part of the Esquiline Hill was covered by night with snow. And on this same night the Mother of God appeared in a dream to John and his wife separately, and told them that on that spot, which in the morning they should see clad with snow, they should build a Church, to be dedicated in the name of the Virgin Mary, for that this was the way in which she chose that they should make her their heiress. John went and told it to Pope Liberius, who declared that he also had been visited by a like dream. Therefore he came in a solemn procession of Priests and people to the snow-clad hill, and traced upon that spot the plan of a Church which was built with the money of John and his wife. It was afterwards rebuilt by Sixtus III. At the beginning it was called by divers names, sometimes the Liberian Basilica, sometimes the Church of St Mary at the Manger. There are in Rome many Churches called after the Holy Virgin Mary, and this Church doth excel them all, both in honor, and because of the strange sign wherewith it was dedicated, it hath come to be called the Church of St Mary, the Greater. The memory of the dedication thereof is kept every year by a Feast day that taketh name from the wonderful fall of snow which on this day took place. – The Roman Breviary
Wednesday in the Tenth Week after Pentecost
Greater – Double / White Vestments
Missa “Salve sancta parens”
Introitus – Psalm 44: 2
Salve, sancta parens, enixa puerperal Regem: qui caelum, terramque regit in saecula saeculorum. (Ps. 44: 2 ) Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum : dico ego opera mea Regi. V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
INTROIT – Psalm 44: 2
Hail, holy Mother, thou who didst bring forth the King who rules heaven and earth for ever and ever. (Ps. 44: 2) My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Concede nos famulos tuos, quaesumus, Domine Deus, perpetua mentis et Corporis sanitatem gaudere: et, gloriosa beatae Mariae semper Virginis intercessione, a praesenti liberari trisititia, et aeterna perfuri laetitia. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum: Qui vivit et regnat Tecum in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Grant us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, to enjoy perpetual health of mind and body; and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, to be delivered from present sorrows and to enjoy everlasting gladness. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ: Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God…
EPISTLE – Eccles 24: 14-16
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom
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 I was 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.
Thou art blessed and venerable, O Virgin Mary, who with purity unstained was found to be the Mother of our Savior.
Virgin Mother of God, He whom the whole world was unable to contain enclosed Himself in thy womb, being made man. Alleluia, alleluia.
GOSPEL – Luke 11: 27-28
The continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew
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 world of God and keep it.’
Homily by the Venerable Bede
Lib 4 Cap 49 in Luke 11
It is plain that this was a woman of great earnestness and faith. The Scribes and Pharisees were at once tempting and blaspheming the Lord, but this woman so clearly grasped His Incarnation, and so bravely confessed the same, that she confounded both the lies of the great men who were present, and the faithlessness of the heretics who were yet to come. Even as the Jews then, blaspheming the works of the Holy Ghost, denied the very Son of God Who is of one substance with the Father, so afterwards did the heretics, by denying that Mary always a Virgin did, under the operation of the Holy Ghost, supply flesh to the Only begotten One of God, when He was about being born in an human Body, even so, I say, did the heretics deny that the Son of Man should be called a true Son, Who is of one substance with His Mother. If we shall say that the Flesh, Wherewith the Son of God was born in the flesh, was something outside of the flesh of the Virgin His Mother, without reason should we bless the womb that bore Him, and the paps which He hath sucked. But the Apostle saith: “God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law”, Gal. iv. 4, and they are not to be listened to who read this passage: “Born of a woman, made under the law.” He was made of a woman, for He was conceived in a virgin’s womb, and took His Flesh, not from nothing, not from elsewhere, but from the flesh of His Mother. Otherwise, and if He had not been sprung of a woman, He could not with truth be called the Son of man. Let us therefore, denying the doctrine of Eutyches, lift up our voice, along with the Universal Church, whereof that woman was a figure, let us lift up our heart as well as our voice from the company, and say unto the Saviour: Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. Blessed Mother, of whom one hath said thou art His Mother, Who reigns over earth and over heaven for ever. Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it. How nobly doth the Saviour say “Yea” to the woman’s blessing, declaring also that not only is she blessed who was meet to give bodily birth to the Word of God, but that all they who spiritually conceive the same Word by the hearing of faith, and, by keeping it through good works, bring it forth and, as it were, carefully nurse it, in their own hearts, and in the hearts of their neighbours, are also blessed. Yea, and that the very Mother of God herself was blessed in being for a while the handmaid of the Word of God made Flesh, but that she was much more blessed in this, that through her love she keepeth Him for ever.
For thou art happy, O holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise : because from thee arose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
For thou art happy, O holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise : because from thee arose the sun of justice, Christ our God. Through Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. Amen.
PREFACE Of The Blessed Virgin Mary
It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty and everlasting God. That on the Festival of the blessed Virgin Mary, we should praise, bless and proclaim Thee. For she conceived Thine only-begotten Son by the over-shadowing of the Holy Ghost; and losing not the glory of her virginity, gave forth to the world the everlasting light, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise Thy majesty, the Dominions worship it, and the powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly Hosts, and the blessed Seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray Thee join our voices also, while we say with lowly praise:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.
Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the Eternal Father.
Having received, O Lord, these helps to our salvation, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be ever protected by the patronage of blessed Mary ever Virgin, in whose honor we have made these offerings to Thy majesty. Through same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. Amen.