|If Mary snows, the Pope shovels|
The Personal Connection
In the English-speaking world, the church is often called Saint Mary Major. My father's uncle, Alfred Major, frequently claimed ancestry from whatever ethnic group we happened to be talking about. Once, in an effort to substantiate some Italian heritage, he cited Saint Mary Major as an antecedent. Looking back, if figure there are three possible explanations.
1. He didn't know what the name referred to. It made sense to him.
2. He was deadpanning and I didn't know that he was kidding.
3. The Theotokos is my great-grand-aunt (x100 or so).