The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore or church of Santa Maria Maggiore, is a Papal major basilica and the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy, from which size it receives the appellation “major” an dmakes it one of the top attractions in all of Rome.
The Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Italian: Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Italian pronunciation: [ˈsanta maˈriːa madˈdʒoːre]; Latin: Basilica Sanctae Mariae Maioris; Latin: Basilica Sanctae Mariae ad Nives), or church of Santa Maria Maggiore (also referred to as Santa Maria delle Neve from its Latin origin Sanctae Mariae ad Nives), is a Major papal basilica as well as one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome and the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy.
The basilica enshrines the venerated image of Salus Populi Romani, depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary as the health and protectress of the Roman people, which was granted a Canonical coronation by Pope Gregory XVI on 15 August 1838 accompanied by his Papal bull Cælestis Regina.
Pursuant to the Lateran Treaty of 1929 between the Holy See and Italy, the Basilica is within Italian territory and not the territory of the Vatican City State. However, the Holy See fully owns the Basilica, and Italy is legally obligated to recognize its full ownership thereof and to concede to it “the immunity granted by International Law to the headquarters of the diplomatic agents of foreign States.” In other words, the complex of buildings has a status somewhat similar to a foreign embassy.
The Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, commonly known as the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, is one of the four major basilicas in Rome and one of the oldest churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Here are some key points about this significant religious and historical site:
The Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore remains not only a significant religious site but also a treasure trove of art and history, drawing visitors from around the world to admire its architectural beauty and spiritual significance.