Snow will fall in Rome on August 5th: the miracle of Saint Mary Major

things to do in rome august snow miracle

This is one of the most evocative events of the Roman tradition: the Madonna of the Snow!

Everything started with a legend..

It seems like in the year 358AD, the Roman patrician Giovanni and his wife decided to dedicate all their wealth to the construction of a new church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Then something happened. In the night between August 4th and 5th.

The Virgin Mary appeared in the dreams of Giovanni. But also in the dreams of the Pope, which at the time was Pope Liberio. The Virgin pointed to them the very location where the new church had to be built.

The Pope went to that very location he saw in his dream and.. the place was covered with snow, even though they were in full Summer!

Without the shadow of a doubt that was a sign. The Pope marked the perimeter of this new church, which was then built thanks to the donation of Giovanni and his wife, with the name of Basilica di Santa Maria della Neve (Saint Mary of the Snow).

The celebrations on August 5th 2023

Now that you know the story, you will appreciate even better the celebration that takes place in this basilica every year since 1983.

Celebrations will start inside the basilica on August 5th at 10AM with the Holy Mass, which includes white rose petals falling down the ceiling, to remind of the snow. Same will happen after the Vespers at 5PM.

Later that day, at 9PM, the show will start in the square outside the basilica. Light, music and holograms shows, together with opera singing. The grand finale will be at midnight, when snow flakes will softly fall onto the square and the basilica, turning everything in white!

Are you going to go? We are! 🙌

Written by Federica

Creative director of Live Virtual Guide. Her favorite things are gelato, pizza and the hidden gems of Rome.


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