Basilicas Huddled Around Christ

Snow on Esquiline Hill on August 5, 366
On August 5th in AD 352, on the Esquiline Hill in Rome, snow covered a large patch of ground, in spite of the summer heat.

The snow marked the spot where the Pope was to build a basilica in honor of the Mother of God, St. Mary Major.

Now, is Mary a major? An English major? Drum major? The very model of a modern major general?

No. Mary is Mary, the Blessed Mother. St. Mary Major is the church, one of the four major basilicas of Rome.

Anybody know what the other major basilicas of Rome are?

…One each for the two Apostles who were martyred in Rome…St. Peter and St. Paul. And one for the beloved disciple…St. John.

So, in the city of Rome, the buildings are arranged like the band of the most loving disciples, gathered around Christ. St. Peter here, St. Paul there, St. John here, and the Blessed Mother over here.

And St. Joseph is all the way over here in Martinsville, Virginia?

No. All the saints who love Christ are close together in heaven. We can be here, on the other side of the world from the church of St. Mary Major, and still our Lady and the saints kneel right alongside us as we worship the triune God.

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