A new LED lighting system will shed a brighter light on the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, starting on Friday, January 19, 2018. Spanish King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia will preside over the lighting ceremonies at 5 p.m. local time.
According to the Holy See, the advanced LED system is good for the environment and will produce cost savings of 80 percent. Installation of the new system was a joint project of the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Archpriest of the Basilica, Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, the Vatican City State and the Fundación Endesa of Spain, as part of its program of artistic lighting to preserve cultural heritage.
St. Mary Major is the largest church in Rome dedicated to Mary. It is recognized not only as a result of its size but its grandeur and architectural significance. It is one of four basilicas in Rome, along with St. John Lateran, St. Peter, and St. Paul Outside the Walls.