Every time I pass by this simple church fronting the small walkway along the beach of El Salvador City, where fishermen display their catches of the day, I always wonder why such a beautiful Parish carries the name Our Lady of Snow. The word “snow” in its name, which always sounds foreign to us Filipinos, always captured my curious mind. And it always sends me into wondering every time I visit this little, yet gifted city in Misamis Oriental.
One day, while we were traveling to Laguindingan Airport, we passed by Our Lady of Snow Parish Church and I overheard one of my fellow passengers mention the church and the story behind it. And I found it interesting.
According to her story, during the time of the war between the Japanese, a number of ships carrying Japanese soldiers sailed in the coasts of El Salvador to invade the town during the Battle of Mindanao. As their ships got nearer, a mysterious mass of white cloud (appearing like Snow) covered their the visibility- as if it was hiding the place (El Salvador), making it impossible for the Japanese army to land safely in the beach. Thus making them decide in changing course, saving the little town of possible attacks and damages.
The very mass of cloud that appeared was said to have happened in the beach’s walkway fronting this Parish, which gave them the idea for the name- Our Lady of Snow Parish Church.
There is really no way of verifying this story, and it may just be a creation of one’s imagination, but given the gifted and miraculous reputation of the place, I won’t be surprised if this story brings truth to it.
Our Lady of Snow Parish Church in El Salvador City is around 21 km away from Cagayan de Oro City near the Shrine of the Divine Mercy and El Salvador Pasalubong Center.