Thieves ruin traditional Rome celebration of Our Lady of Snows

ROME — Thieves robbed Romans and tourists of the traditional end of the feast of Our Lady of the Snows at the Basilica of Mary Major.

The centerpiece of the feast — Mass inside the basilica with white flower petals falling from the ceiling to invoke snow — still occurred yesterday.

But the big finish — a sound, light and artificial-snow show in the square outside the basilica — was postponed to Aug. 15, the feast of Mary’s assumption.

Last year’s “snowfall” at St. Mary Major. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Saturday night thieves stole the truck with the sound and light equipment. Cesare Esposito, who organizes the event, told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, “I hope Our Lady helps me. For 29 years I’ve planned and carried out the re-enactment of Our Lady of the Snows and nothing like this has ever happened.”

The Aug. 5 feast of Our Lady of the Snows is also the feast of dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major. According to tradition, in 358 Mary indicated where she wanted the basilica built using the miracle of an August snowfall in Rome.

One Response

  1. So they didn’t really ruin the “traditional Rome celebration,” just the sound and light show. Great article.

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