Why Our Lady of the Snow ?
"Our Lady of the Snow will bless us! "
The devotion of the scouts of France to Our Lady of the Snow
Our Father a young scout, who made his scouting promise in 1926 learned to pray to the Holy Virgin under the term of Our Lady of the Snow. His stay at Our Lady of the Snow in the diocese of Viviers -also helped to develop his devotion. In 1930, at the age of 16, Our Lady of the Snow definitively “conquered” him while taking part with his scouting troop in Privas, at the blessing of the great statue of Our Lady of the Snow built by the scouts of France, at Gavarnie. He almost had a fall, which could have been fatal, on the circuit of Gavarnie. He called to Our Lady of the Snow for her help: his cane became wedged between rocks and he was saved! This experience greatly marked him. He kept great confidence and great recognition towards Our Lady of the Snow.
The team of Our Lady of the Snow
At Annonay in February 1944 our father founded the team of Our Lady of the Snow, then the chain of Our Lady of the Snow. This double foundation enabled him to develop the spirituality of the link of Our Lady of the Snow. By the expression the “first leader of the chain” he wanted to help people discover the maternal action of the teacher Our Lady of the Snow. The idea was not to make an individual ascension or beat records, but assemble others and then to join them to the leader of the chain, Our Lady of the Snow, our guide. Our Lady of the Snow helps us to climb the mountain, which is Christ. We must trust Her and let ourselves be guided step by step by Her. The image of the chain symbolizes the help, which Our Lady of the Snow brings us in spiritual combat. The high mountain requires the energy of endurance and self-control. The chain which wishes to succeed in its climb needs a sure and prudent guide, but also, a trainer with an ardent and merciful heart who knows how to encourage and help in the difficulties of the climb. Our Lady of the Snow, who is better than all the most experienced guides, is the guide of this chain, She takes care with Her loving maternal heart of each member of the chain. If we do not release the link of the chain we are sure to arrive at our goal! Our Father liked this prayer:
“Our Lady of the Snow, first leader of the chain, help us to rise”.
The small statue of Our Lady of the Snow at Annonay
With members of the chain of Our Lady of the Snow the Father and Augusta Bernard built, on August the 5th, 1945 a small statue of Our Lady of the Snow on the slope of the mount Miandon, dominating the town of Annonay. Augusta Bernard sought a statue of the Blessed Virgin as white as possible. She only found one to her taste: it had the shape of the statue of “rue du Bac”, this statue was adopted then built on the mount Miandon on 5th of August and finally blessed on the 8th of December 1945.A small sign from heaven was sent on the 8th of December: the snow which the Blessed Virgin had been asked for. That morning, however, there was no sign of the Snow, it was sunny and not cold! But later on, the sky became cloudy and about midday the snow started to fall at the beginning of the procession. Annonay was covered in a white coat while the members of the chain of Our Lady of the Snow climbed in prayer the mount Miandon. The snow stopped falling at the end of the procession. The Father and Mother Marie Augusta spoke not of a miracle but of a sign which encouraged them very much in their devotion to Our Lady of the Snow.