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Our Lady of the Snow

  • Via D'Alagno, 22, 80058 Torre Annunziata NA, Italia
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In Torre Annunziata every 5th of August (patronal feast) and every 22nd of October (votive feast) the Madonna della Neve, the patron saint of the town, is celebrated. These events are deeply felt by the devout population. It is said that in 1354 some fishermen of Torre Annunziata who were fishing in the waters near the Rock of Rovigliano, found a case caught in the nets, and once recovered and after opening it they found a terracotta bust, which represents a dark-skinned Madonna holding the Christ child in her arms, without any inscription, so that they did not know which Madonna it was. This episode, every 5th of August, is reproduced on the beach of the discovery in the presence of the authorities and many believers. In order to solve the issue, the Captain of the People, a particular magistrate elected every year or every six months by the people themselves, who gave reason to the people of Massa. Despite this, the Stabiesi took possession of the effigy, but at that point there was the miracle: on a particularly cold day in January, the Madonna was found covered with snow outside the chapel of the Annunziata, near the port, a sign interpreted by the people of Oplontata as the Madonna's will to stay in Torre Annunziata, the town of the fishermen who had saved her from the waters - a particularly symbolic and significant event, because on August 5th of the year 352 (to be noted, about one thousand years before the finding in Rovigliano) there was a "prodigious snowfall" in the city of Rome, which induced Pope Liberius to dedicate that day to Sancta Maria ad Nives, Santa Maria della Neve.

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