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Saint of the Day for 05 August: St Mary of the Snow

Celebration, legend and devotion to Our Lady in White


St Mary of the Snow


Dedication of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore


05 August


2004 edition


O Mary, woman of the most sublime heights, teach us to climb the holy mountain that is Christ. Guide us on the path of God, marked by the footsteps of Thy motherly steps. Teach us the way of love, that we may always be able to love. Teach us the way of joy, that we may make others happy. Teach us the way of patience, that we may welcome all with generosity. Teach us the way of goodness, that we may serve our brothers and sisters in need. Teach us the way of simplicity, to enjoy the beauty of creation. Teach us the way of meekness, to bring peace to the world. Teach us the way of fidelity, to never grow weary in doing good. Teach us to look upwards, lest we lose sight of the ultimate goal of our lives: eternal communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Patron of

Torre Annunziata, Rovereto, Nuoro, Novi Ligure, Codroipo, Crispiano, Francofonte, Busca, Monteforte d’Alpone, Sirmione

Roman Martyrology

Dedication of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, erected in Rome on the Esquiline Hill, which Pope Sixtus III offered to the people of God in memory of the Council of Ephesus, at which the Virgin Mary was proclaimed Mother of God.


The Saint and Mission

Santa Maria della Neve is a title associated with the Virgin Mary, and is particularly known for the feast and legend surrounding the dedication of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.

The legend tells of a miraculous snowfall that fell on 5 August 358 AD, outlining the perimeter of the future basilica. The construction of this basilica was not just an act of devotion, but became a mission of faith that transcended architecture. It symbolised a commitment to the spiritual motherhood of Mary and her continued intercession for the people of God.

The celebration of St Mary of the Snow draws attention to the Church’s mission to bring Christ to the world through Mary, his mother. In this sense, the feast is not only a time of Marian veneration, but also a reflection on our participation in the divine mission.

Devotion to St Mary of the Snows can be seen as an invitation to embrace our Christian mission with the same faith and trust that Mary showed in her journey with God. Her ready acceptance of the divine will is a model for all those who seek to live their vocation with courage and love.

St Mary of the Snows is not only an occasion to reflect on the beauty and mystery of Mary’s motherhood, but also a call to embrace our mission in the Church and in the world, following the example of faith and dedication of the Mother of God.

The Saint and Mercy

Santa Maria della Neve is an affectionate title given to the Virgin Mary, and the associated feast is a time to reflect on her mercy and maternal compassion.

The legend of the miraculous snowfall that led to the foundation of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome is not only a fascinating tale, but also a symbolic representation of Mary’s merciful embrace. Just as snow covers the ground, so Mary’s mercy envelops and protects her spiritual children.

Mary is often seen as the human face of divine mercy, a bridge between humanity and God. Her willingness to accept God’s will, her active participation in redemption, and her role as a loving and consoling mother make Mary a perfect example of mercy incarnate.

Devotion to St Mary of the Snows invites us to reflect on our own call to be instruments of mercy. As Mary responded with love and trust to God’s call, we too are called to be merciful to others, showing compassion, understanding and unconditional love.

In short, St Mary of the Snows is a tangible reminder of Mary’s merciful love and her continuing role as intercessor and mother. Her devotion encourages us to seek and reflect divine mercy in our lives, imitating the love and compassion of the Mother of God.


The feast of the Blessed Virgin of the Snow is one of the most famous, especially in Italy, where there are numerous shrines dedicated to Our Lady under this title.

There lived in Rome in the 4th century, under the pontificate of Pope Liberius, a noble patrician named John, who, no less than his wife, named Mary, was inflamed with great love for the Blessed Virgin. Having no children, he pondered what God’s will was for them so that they might always be better…


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