Recreating the Miracle: Madonna della Neve’s Snowfall Tradition in the Middle of Summer

Recreating the Miracle: Madonna della Neve's Snowfall Tradition in the Middle of Summer

The traditional celebration of the Marian miracle returns on 5 August

On August 5 Rome hosts a captivating event that defies the summer heat both symbolically and practically – the celebration of the Madonna della Neve (Madonna of the Snow). This cherished occasion involves the recreation of an extraordinary miraculous snowfall outside the magnificent Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore.

The Legend of La Madonna della Neve

According to ancient legend, in the 4th century, a devout Roman couple sought divine guidance on donating their possessions to the Church. In response to their fervent prayers, the Virgin Mary appeared to them in a vision on the night between August 4th and 5th, 352 AD. She revealed that a miraculous event would occur, guiding them to the precise location for the construction of a new church.

That very night, an astonishing snowfall covered a hill in the Esquiline district. Word of this celestial event reached Pope Liberius, who went to the snowy site and traced the outline of the planned church. With the generous contribution of the devoted couple, the church was built, solidifying the legend of the miraculous snowfall.

Discover the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome

Though historical evidence supporting the legend is scarce, the event is celebrated annually with unwavering devotion. As the snow gently descends from the sky, Rome relives this extraordinary story, continuing a tradition that has captivated hearts for centuries.

An Enchanting Spectacle Awaits You in Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore

Recreating the Miracle: Madonna della Neve's Snowfall Tradition in the Middle of Summer

The eagerly awaited 2023 edition of this magical spectacle, supported by the City, the Vatican, and the Ministry of Culture, will take place on Saturday, August 5th, at 9 pm in Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore. The enchanting snowfall will be accompanied by a mesmerizing light show and a performance by the Carabinieri band.

One of the highlights of the celebration is the 10 a.m. Mass in honor of the Virgin Mary, who initiated the miracle inside the basilica. During this solemn occasion, white flower petals will gracefully descend from the ceiling, creating a breathtaking scene reminiscent of the miraculous snowfall. The evocative moment will be repeated during Vespers at 5 p.m.

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