The shrine was built in this place following the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to a deaf-mute shepherd boy from birth, Battista Comino Bajoni, on July 8, 1519. The Virgin appeared to him saying she was the Mother of God and giving him a message for the inhabitants of Adro together with a mysterious stone.
Our Lady’s message contains a reference to live a more Christian life, and the construction of a sanctuary: they are to build a church there on the site of the apparition; they also have to amend their sins, change their sinful life, sanctify the holy days of obligation, not blaspheme the Holy Name of God and abstain from other sins. If they had not done so, they would have to expect great punishments.
Mary then added:
“And if they ask you who spoke to you, tell them that it was the Advocate of sinners; and as a sign, other than everyone knows that you were mute, take this stone and give it to anyone who wants to see, the color of which will change from time to time. Meanwhile I will watch the flock”.
The miracle of the deaf-mute who began to hear and speak raised the shrine in record time (1521). Of this, only the apse is preserved with the fresco of the apparition alongside the current main altar. The fresco is from around 1550. The sanctuary was visited by Saint Charles Borromeo in 1581. Having become too small for the influx of pilgrims, in 1750 it was demolished to make way for the current one. It was built according to the design of the architect Gaspare Turbini and inaugurated in 1776.
The life of the sanctuary began to flourish once it had appropriate assistance with the establishment of the Carmelites of Saint Therese, who built the convent next to their seminary. From an architectural point of view, the sanctuary is truly valuable. The spiritual center, after the tabernacle, is the crypt (darkened) located under the main altar. The current gilded wooden statue is by the sculptor Poisa from Brescia and replaces the primitive by Fantoni. It was visited by Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI when they were cardinals. Next to the Sanctuary, a discreet, well-shaded park with tables and benches offers pilgrims welcome refreshment.
In the earliest times, immediately after the apparition, it was called “Our Lady of the Cave” (Madonna della Cava), from the place where the Mary had appeared to the shepherd boy, and the feast was celebrated on July 8, the anniversary of the apparition. Later, however, the ecclesiastical authority transferred the day of the Feast from 8 July to 5 August, the day on which the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome is remembered, which is also called “Sancta Maria ad Nives” (Our Lady of the Snow), built by Pope Liberius after the snow miracle (which took place in Rome). So it was that this Sanctuary also took the name of “Our Lady of the Snow”.
It is a destination for pilgrims from near and far countries. In addition to the parishes of their diocese, they also come from those of Bergamo, Milan, Cremona, Mantua. The fascination that Our Lady exerts on pilgrims is such that those who have seen Her once desires come back to see Her again.
FOUNDATION of the SCHOOL of OUR LADY of the SNOW of ADRO:
Until 1983 the School Institute existed as a minor seminary of the Veneto Province of the Carmelites Scalzi Fathers and the high school exists as a side course of the Institute “Father Giulio Cazzaniga” of Rodengo Saiano. In 1984, the Carmelites Fathers, in collaboration with some teachers and families, decided to close the minor seminary and give birth in Adro to a Catholic High School, which takes the name of “Madonna of the Snow” (Our Lady of the Snow) because of its proximity to the famous Carmelites Shrine, which is a center of Marian devotion known throughout Lombardy. In the school year 2016-17, a section of The Music School (SMIM) is recognized, the only case in Italy for an non-state run school.
In 1991, the Scientific High School was founded. The growing success of the educational proposal necessitated the expansion of the school building between 1995 and 1997. In a few years, enrollments increased significantly: in September 1999 the second section of the Scientific High School was opened and in the year 2000 the Classical High School was born. In September 2001, the Primary School was born. In September of the year 2010 he opened the Linguistic High School
Sito Ufficiale del Santuario: http://www.madonnadellaneveadro.it/la-storia/.
Sito Ufficiale della Scuola: https://madonnadellaneve.it/.