Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Catholic Nook: Our Lady of the Snows & the Christmas Novena...

Happy Tuesday everybody! I'm so excited about our post for today. Before I talk about Our Lady of the Snows, it seemed perfect that today is day 1 of the Christmas Novena. I have a page at the top of the blog for those of you interested in praying along with me. There is a link to sign up for the daily email reminders. The Christmas Novena begins each year on December 16th and runs through Christmas Eve as a spiritual preparation for the big day. So get your intentions squared away and get started!

Ok, so Our Lady of the Snows. This has become my new obsession. :) And the image in this post? I LOVE IT. I've been searching for a similar prayer card, but no luck so far. At any rate, let's learn more about her, shall we?

This title for Mary developed from a tradition involving a Roman couple in the year 352. Both husband and wife had a dream in which Mary appeared to them and told them that she wanted a church built in a place on which snow would fall to mark the spot. Given that they lived in Rome, you can imagine that the couple was a bit curious. :) Snow doesn't fall all that often there, especially in August. :0 Well, sure enough, on August 5th snow covered Esquiline Hill in Rome. All of Rome proclaimed this a miracle, and a church was built on the hill in 358. Through the years, the church has undergone a lot of restoring and refurbishing, and is the modern day Basilica of St. Mary Major. The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, who honor Our Lady of the Snows as their patroness, run an American shrine to Mary under this title in Belleville, Illinois, which features a Way of Light at Advent and Christmas and multiple small shrines to Mary under her various titles (Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes). Her feast is celebrated on August 5th. A special prayer for her intercession is below:

Our Lady of the Snows, Immaculate Queen of the Universe, from this privileged sanctuary, Thou has bestowed so many countless graces and pledges of love upon the hearts and souls of millions. O Mother, from this cradle of Christianity, this Mother Church of all churches, deign to shower forth the graces of thine Immaculate Heart upon the remnant Faithful throughout the world, wherever they may be, and grant them the graces of a childlike love and unwavering fidelity to the holy truths of our Faith. Grant, good Mother, to the faithful Bishops of the Church the grace to defend Her Sacred Teachings, and to persevere courageously against all the enemies of the Holy Church. Amen.
 Cool, huh?

I just absolutely love the image of Mary under this title, it just gives me such a cozy feeling. Our Lady of the Snows isn't a very well known title for her, and finding gift items bearing this image are difficult to come by.  I had her in mind when I recently asked the fabulous Allison to craft matching rosaries for me (for me and Anne) with a Frozen colorway theme. Our Lady of the Snows rosary centers are nonexistent as far as I know, so I asked her to use Our Lady of Lourdes:

Isn't it stunning? The colors are just so evocative to me of Our Lady of the Snows. The bead mix is called "Glacier," and has sparkly blue shades and Aurora Borealis crystal. The Paters are silver pearls. I LOVE IT. It's a perfect winter rosary. :) And she'll custom make you one too if you ask her!

I also see that Our Lady of the Snows has a novena that you can pray each year from July 27th through August 4th, leading to her feast day, so let's do that in 2015, yes? I'll create a page with the prayers so that we can pray along together for her intercession.

Does anybody else have familiarity with Our Lady of the Snows? I'd love to hear from you!

P.S., don't forget that book club is tomorrow! We'll be talking about Advent of a Mystery. See you then!

2 comments:

  1. I love this image!! I have never heard of her before! I learn something new everyday!

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  2. I have a Rosary with Our Lady of Snows as the centerpiece! In between each decade, there's a medal to a devotion to our Lady: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima, and the Miraculous Medal.

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