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Visit to Our Lady of the Snows Church

 Estimated reading time: 3 min. Texts Pablo Etchevers   Photos Santiago Gaudio
Visit to Our Lady of the Snows Church

This is a modern and austere construction, with a conception of pure lines. Blessed Laura Vicuña is also worshipped here.

We visited Our Lady of the Snows Church, a building teeming with sunlight. Naturally, the most important areas and images in the chamber are better lit. Besides, the spaces for prayer and meditation are very sober and silent. Thus, praying turns out to be a very pleasant experience.

One of the most emblematic denizens of Junín de los Andes, Blessed Laura Vicuña, is worshipped at the venue. Laura was only 13 when she died and she was a student of Mary Help of Christians’ School.

The history of Blessed Laura Vicuña is very important for the local citizens. She is remembered and respected in various geographical locations. History goes that Laura arrived in Junín with her mother and sister, fleeing from Chile’s civil war. After having discovered that her mother had a lover, the little girl decided to honor her mother through her own death. She passed away after a terrible disease in 1904. At Our Lady of the Snows Church, we saw the rose bush in the backyard, where Blessed Laura Vicuña used to say her prayers.
Visit to Our Lady of the Snows Church
As the story of this girl is more than interesting, we also visited estancia Fosbery, where Laura lived for several years. Besides, we saw Manuel Mora’s station (close to the bridge over the Quilquihué River) and the place where Laura was bathed in order to lower her temperature. At that very spot, the rest of the schoolgirls used to wash their clothes.

Another site to visit is the modest house where Laura died and the place where she was buried, at the foot of the Mount of the Cross, the first cemetery of Junín de los Andes.
Visit to Our Lady of the Snows Church
After Laura’s death, and by virtue of her exemplary life and the offer she made to redeem her mother, many Catholic believers put their faith in her and it is said that several miracles have taken place.

The most significant one was experienced by sister Ofelia Lobos Arellano, a member of the religious order of Mary Help of Christians’ School. She got seriously sick and was under multiple medical treatments for ten years. When she was finally told she had only a few months to live, sister Ofelia called on Laura Vicuña to intercede for her before God and ask Him to heal her. The next morning, the nun stopped using the respirator and started a fast recovery.
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