Our Lady of Snows Kallikulam shrine is one of the prominent Marian shrines in India. It is located at Tirunelveli district in the state Tamilnadu of India. In the recent years, it became popular in India because of vision and apparition of Our Lady. A strong oral tradition attests to Our Lady’s apparition at Kallikulam. The tradition is built around the following few significant events:
On 1884, the villagers and Jesuits decided to build a new church at Kallikulam for Our Lady. They were undecided about the size and location of the church. They prayed to Our Lady and requested her intercession to choose the location and size of the church. At that time, on a hot summer morning, they found a piece of land wet with morning dew. They wondered about that unusual thing, and believed that that was a miraculous intercession of Our Lady to mark the location of the church. On 1885 they built a magnificent church on that location and consecrated to Our Lady of Snows.
On 29th March 1939, evening around 6.30 pm, Our Lady appeared on a hill near to the church. Six young people saw that apparition and informed that to parish priest and the village people.
Since then, thousands of people of all faiths, from all over India, have visited Kallikulam and have left spiritually strengthened and renewed. Countless unbelievers and physically or mentally afflicted, have been converted and healed. Not only do multitudes of Catholic travel there throughout the year but many non-Christians visit as well. Hundreds of miraculous cures are reported every year. Our Lady of the Snows devotions down through the centuries have proved the place to be of divine origin.
The shrine is a center of hospitality and spiritual growth, founded in Tamil tradition and culture. Here, Our Lady of the Snows, is popularly known as Panimatha. Panimatha is a Tamil word. In Tamil ‘Pani’ means ‘Snow’ and ‘Matha’ means ‘Mother’.