In the middle of the heat of summer on August 5th, 358 AD: a miracle happened.

On the top of Esquiline Hill, one of seven hills in Rome, there was snowfall!

During that very same night, the Virgin Mary appeared in a dream to Pope Liberius, telling him to build a church in her honor where they find snow. He went there, and traced an outline of where it would be built.

Today, the church built over that snow is known as the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, one of Rome’s most famous churches and also the largest Roman Catholic Church dedicated to Mary.

Every year on August 5th is hence the Feast of Our Lady of the Snow, celebrated in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major with a shower of white flower petals during evening prayer.

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