University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Chroniques de N. D. du Lac

Additions or Reminiscences (1880)

5th of August. Our Lady of the Snow

Long before we left France for this New World, I remember very distinctly that there was in my mind a predominant thought and in my heart a special, and abiding desire, which I might call a hidden passion, viz: to devote my time somewhere, to consecrate my life to preach what I knew of the Blessed Virgin. My first sermon, written at home in 1837 when I was only subdeacon, was on Our Blessed Mother, from the sacred text: Qui elucidant me, vitam aeternam habebunt. I read it all to my dear parents before I preached it, and they seemed to feel more than pleased with my first oratorical essay. From this first debut until I left all, I preached often, my first love increasing year after year.

But on the day of our departure, when I opened my new Breviary for vespers, [until then the Roman liturgy was totally unknown to me, having never used but that of our diocese], I was struck to see that we were starting on a beautiful festival day of the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of the Snow. The impression I received from the happy coincidence was not to be soon obliterated. I had absolutely nothing to do with the choice of the day. How often have I not thanked her since for choosing it herself, as a proof that she wished us to leave for our new mission under her maternal protection, to look up to Her . . .

<< Father Sorin >>