The liturgical life in Rome is rich with custom and tradition (unlike everywhere else after the sixties). One of the most special days to be in Rome is August 5th. This is the day in which is celebrated the liturgical feast of the "Madonna of the Snow."
And so today the Romans flocked back into the city from the beaches of Ostia for the morning to see the "snow" of the white jasmine and rose petals showering atop the confessio of the Patriarchal Basilica of Saint Mary Major during the choral singing of the Gloria. "Long live Catholic traditions in the face of the devil!" was all I could think of as I stood in awe amid the enchanted faithful in the face of the falling blessed flowers.
It was during the night of the nonae of August, between the fourth and fifth of August in the year 358 when the Virgin Mary appeared both to Giovanni Patricio and Pope Liberius, asking that a basilica be dedicated to her on a site in Rome where, that night, it would snow. The next morning the wealthy senator and the pope went to the Cispian, where that very night a heavy snow had fallen. Here, Pope Liberius watched by a giant crowd, traced the outline of the future church in the heavy snow and thus the basilica and another beautiful addition to our Catholic story.