Join me for a wonderful celebration of faith!

Join me for a wonderful celebration of faith!

As legend has it, a wealthy Roman named John and his wife shared a dream one hot August night in 352 A.D. in which a vision of Mary appeared. Mary told the couple to use their wealth to build a church in her honor - where a blanket of snow would cover the ground.

On August 5th, the morning light revealed a miraculous snowfall on the Esquiline Hill. The couple recognized the miracle and obediently build a basilica to honor Our Lady. The famous Basilica of St. Mary Major was built in honor of Mary and remains today as a place of tribute to Our Lady of the Snows.

The devotion of Our Lady was brought to North America in 1941 by an oblate named Fr. Paul Schulte, O.M.I. Lovingly nicknamed "the flying priest of the arctic," Fr. Schulte was a German pilot who developed a strong personal devotion to Our Lady of the Snows. He often flew medical aid and other supplied to remote Oblate missions north of the Arctic Circle, where he built a small chapel in her honor.

Later Fr. Schulte began working with Fr. Edwin J. Guild, O.M.I. at St. Henry's Seminary in Belleville, Illinois. Today the Oblates call upon Mary as one who watches over their missionary efforts with a mother's love. Because of Fr. Guild's love for the Blessed Mother, the seminarians began to foster a special devotion to Our Lady of the Snows.

In 1943, this devotion led the Oblates to begin a novena to Our Lady, holding the nine-day prayer service inside the Chapel of St. Henry's in Belleville. As the number of pilgrims began to rise, the novena was moved outdoors. The first Solemn Outdoor Novena was held in 1951 at St. Henry's Seminary, marking the beginning of an annual event which attracts thousands of devoted followers each year.

The Oblates at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows would like to celebrate the feast of the miraculous snowfall with you in a very special way.


Send us your special intention.

You special intentions will be joined with thousands of others at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL.

Our Lady of the Snows Gifts


Our Lady of the Snows Votive Candles


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