The Miracle of the Snow

by Annie
Snow in Rome? Never!…well, maybe never. According to legend, back in the year 352 A.D. a man named Giovanni had a dream that on August 5th snow would fall in Rome. Moreover, on the site where the snow fell, a church should be erected in honor of the Madonna. So the next morning off he went to tell his friend Pope Liberius about his dream . . . who incredibly had the very same apparition!

Together they went to the site indicated in their dreams and gazed in amazement at what lay before them . . . almost an inch of snow! The Pope got down on his hands and knees and traced the outline in the snow for the new church, the Basilica Liberiana, rebuilt as Santa Maria Maggiore in 432 A.D.

For the past 25 years in Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore on August 5th at sunset this event is celebrated with ceremonies which end with the traditional annual “snowfall” (courtesy of modern snow machines).
Make a note for next year… but don’t worry about snow shoes.

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