Our Lady of the Snows has a long and powerful legacy that reaches to the present-day Pope Francis and the Roman Church. On August 5, 352 AD snow fell in the city of Rome. The legacy begins with a nobleman, John and his childless wife, who had been blessed with much of this world’s wealth. They chose the Mother of God as the heir to their fortune, and at the suggestion of Pope Liberius, prayed that she might make known to them how to do this by a particular sign.
In answer, the Virgin Mother during the night of August 5, appeared to John and his wife and to the Holy Father, Pope Liberius, directing them to build a church in her honor on the crown of the Esquiline Hill. She promised a sign to reveal her will, “Snow will cover the crest of the hill.” Snow rarely falls in Rome, but the flakes fell silently during that night, blanketing the peak of the historic hill. In the morning, the news quickly spread, and crowds gathered to throng up the hill and behold the white splendor. The snow had fallen in a particular pattern, showing the outline of the future church. When it became known that the snow was a sign from Mary, the people spontaneously added another to her long list of titles, Our Lady of the Snows.
Our Lady of he Snows demonstrated her power most egregiously in 1615. A German nobleman, Wolfgang Langenmantel, discovered that his wife, Sophia, was making plans to divorce to divorce him. To save the marriage they met with the Jesuit priest, Father Jakob Rem. During the fourth counseling session, Wolfgang brought his wedding ribbon and gave it to Father Rem. The ribbon was a token used in wedding ceremonies of the period wherein the arms of the bride and groom would be joined by a white ribbon as a symbol of a lifelong union. Father Rem took the white ribbon and raised it up before an image of Mary, Our Lady of the Snows and began to untie the knots that were placed in the ribbon. Upon untying the last knot, the ribbon became dazzling white. This was seen as a sign that the Blessed Virgin heard the prayers. The couple dismissed any thought of divorce.
Prayers that are most attached to Our Lady of the Snows are, first;
“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 minds of millions. O Mother from this cradle of Christianity, this Mother Church of all Churches, deign to shower forth the graces of Immaculate heart upon the remnant Faithful throughout the world, wherever they may be, and grant them the grace of childlike and unwavering fidelity to the holy truths of faith. Grant, Good Mother, to the faithful bishops of the Church the grace to defend her Sacred Teachings, and to persevere courageously against all enemies of the Holy Church. Amen.”
Also, the well-known “Memorare” is associated with Our Lady of the Snows;
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
The fact that Mary showed such complete mastery over nature, particularly in her control over the snow and cold, connects her on a deep and powerful level to Jesus and Our Father. One of the hallmarks of Divine power has always been the mastery over nature. God created the world, thereby showing his mastery and Lordship (Genesis 1-2). Jesus walked on the water (Matthew 14:25) and calming the tempest (Mark 4:35-40). Mary exhibited this power over nature, here and at Fatima, Guadalupe, and Lourdes, because of her love for her children. Her holiness made her worthy of this power and that her Son, Jesus, denies her nothing. Mary is not Divine, nor is she the object of faith. She is an aide to our faith, whose demonstrations of power help to bring her adopted children, us, to the son of her body, Jesus.