In the heat we've been suffering here in Colorado lately, just the cool thoughts of this feast day are welcome! But the origins of this feast are really interesting, too, and it's always wonderful to learn of Our Lady under each of her many titles.
This, the oldest image of Our Lady in Rome, kept within the "Lady of the Snow" basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, is known as Salus Populi Romani (Well-being of the Roman people).
It was brought to Rome from the Holy Land from St. Helen, mother of Constantine, and is said to have been painted by St. Luke!
Needless to say, today is a day of great celebration at St. Mary Major. Imagine attending the patronal high Mass at any of the great Roman basilicas! At any church, it would be a beautiful honor, but I would love to be at St. Mary Major to see Mass today. In celebration of the feast, a snowfall of white rose petals will descend from the ceiling!
Our Lady of the Snow, pray for us!