Friday, August 7, 2009

A Summer Snowfall

On my recent trip to Rome Italy this week, I read about an Event that took place on August 5th about the legendary “August Snowfall”. I happen to be there on Wends. August 5th.

I was intrigued.

According to legend on 5 August, 358, the Virgin Mary appeared to both Pope Liberius and a Roman pratician named John in a dream, commanding them to build a church on the spot where in the morning they would find a patch of snow.

That very night, in the heat of summer, snow fell upon the Esquiline hill!

The next morning Liberius drew up the plans and john had the church built at his own expense. (This church was built but is long gone).

However, the legend has for centuries been associated with Santa Maria Maggiore Cathedral (also known as Santa Maria della Neve Saint Mary of the Snow).
This chapel, built in the 17th century, is the setting for the annual celebration of the summer snowfall.

The legend of this miraculous event is commemorated in a pontifical mass, and scattered with white flower petals.

Many gather for the mass honoring Santa Maria and the miracle of the saints.

That same evening, a crowd gathers in the piazza to admire the artificial snowflakes that are shot out from above!

1 comment:

Being and Quirkiness said...

Interesting story. I visited Rome for the first time last year, and wondered why I hadn't been before. :)


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