Saturday, May 21, 2011

PC College Choir the "special musical guest" for Cardinal Law at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome

We are very excited at Incantato Tours to having managed that the Providence College Choir is the "special musical guest" today at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome for a High Mass honoring Cardinal Law - a fellow American in Italy. 
The Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, or Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major, is an ancient Catholic Marian Basilica of Rome. The church is believed to have been constructed under the reign of Pope Sixtus III between the years of 432 and 440. It is considered one of the four major papal basilicas, and together with Saint Lawrence outside the Walls, was formerly referred to as part of the five “patriarchal basilicas” of Rome associated with the five ancient sees of Christendom. Also known as the Liberian Basilica, the church was formerly presided over by Pope Liberius who housed many congregations of early Christians in Rome. Santa Maria Maggiore stands as the only Roman basilica that retained the core of its original structure, left intact since its original construction even following the earthquake of 1348.
The name Santa Maria Maggiore reflects two very important ideas of greatness, that of a major papal basilica and that of the largest Roman church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Following the formal ending of the Avignon papacy when the papacy officially returned to Rome, Santa Maria Maggiore served as the 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, now Vatican City. 
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia. 

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