Basilica of Saint Mary Major- Roman Church Monuments

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This tour will help you explore the Roman Church Monuments built in 16th and 17th centuries. The Papal Basilica of Saint Mary has its history rooted in the 16th century and linked with Papal services of the Catholic Church. After the Avignon papacy formally ended and the Papacy returned to Rome, 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 (The Vatican City).

According to the local traditional beliefs, during the peak of summer in Rome in the year 358 CE the Virgin Mary appeared on a couple while they were asleep asking them to build a church in Her Honor, with their savings since the couple was without children or heirs. The site where the church was supposed to be built, according to the apparition of the Virgin, would be revealed by snowfall on the spot, even though it was the peak of summer in August. The couple told Pope Liberius of this vision that they had and to their surprise Pope Liberius had the same exact dream. The very next day it snowed at top of the Esquiline Hill and Pope Liberius built the basilica with the funds donated by that couple.