The church of Our Lady of the Snow, located above the mountain village of Międzygórze near the top of Mountain Igliczna (Needle) (847 m) in the Sudeten Mountains, a picturesque pocket of south-western Poland near the Czech border, is a most unusual sanctuary of the Marian cult. There is a figure of Mary the Mother of God at the top of the main altar of the church, regarded by pilgrims to have divine power of miracles. The figure is called quite uniquely „Mary of the Snow” (in Polish „Maria Śnieżna”).

John Paul II crowned the miraculous figure of the Mother Mary of the Snow on the 21 of June 1983 in Wrocław. The Marian cult of the miraculous figure of Our Lady of The Snow on Mountain Igliczna can be traced to the time when Silesia belonged to Austria and the inhabitants of Kłodzko region use to make pilgrimages to the Austrian shrine at Mariazell.

In 1742, Silesia came under Prussian rule. Consequently, because of the border between Austria and Prussia, the pilgrim flow from Silesia to the shrine of Mary Mother of God at Mariazell decreased. However, in 1750, Krzysztof Veit, an inhabitant of the nearby village Wilkanów, returned from a pilgrimage to Mariazell carrying a folk wood carving copy of the 12th - century lime wood statue of the Mother Mary from the Guaden Church in Mariazell.

At first, the pilgrim placed the wood carving in a rustic shelter, under the protective branches of an ancient beech-tree on the side of Igliczna Mountain, to remind passersby of the Austrian Shrine in Mariazell. However, fifteen years later, in 1765, a fierce windstorm devastated the hillside woods of Mountain Igliczna and the ancient beech-tree fell. However, the figure of Mother Mary, which was attached to the tree, remained unharmed. The villagers regarded this as an act of God's providence and carried the figure to an area not affected by the storm. In 1776, the wood carving of the Blessed Mother was enshrined in a wooden chapel, built on the spot of the current rectory. Here, on 26 June 1777, the first miracle took place. The son of Lawrence Franke from Sienna regained his eyesight, following an accidental fall into a lime pit. Led to the figure, the blind son and his parents besought Mary to intercede for them to Almighty God that he may see again. Their prayers were answered. Shortly after, the second miracle happened: the hand of a miller's son crushed by the mill's gears healed completely. By 1781, evidence of twelve miracles was attributed to this shrine. Since the graces received through Mary's mediation become known, visitors, pilgrims and the curious have been coming in ever growing numbers. The wood chapel soon proved too small for the ever-growing number of pilgrims.

By 18 June 1781, a cornerstone was laid and blessed, initiating the construction of the existing neo-baroque church. It was built by pilgrims under the supervision of André Jäger from Międzylesie, a masonry contractor, and Joseph Knietig from Wilkanów, who was in charge of carpentry. On the 22 of October 1782, Fr. Carol Winter from Międzylesie, who was the vicar-general of the archbishop of Prague, consecrated the new church and dedicated to Our Lady of the Snow. a steeple was added in 1784. Then due to the ever-growing number of pilgrims, a sheltering gallery encircling the nave was constructed in 1821-23.



maintenance/repairs