ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Way of Lights. The popular display began when a groundskeeper wanted to keep workers busy during the winter. The display has grown over the years to now include more than one million lights.
Shrine Director Fr. David Uribe says visitors have come from all over the world to see the light display. He calls in an opportunity to set aside normal routines and enjoy a religious experience.
“People can come here and remember wonderful memories and then also ask the question or reflect on where’s God in their own lives,” said Uribe.
Visitors can also visit our restaurant and gift shop. There is a Lego display of the nativity and an angel. There is also a room filled with Christmas trees decorated by community members.
“This year we’re celebrating the 50th year of the way of lights and we want it to be a family tradition,” said Uribe.
Visitors can also pay for camel rides and various popcorn flavors but the ride through the lights is free. There is an opportunity to leave a donation when visitors leave. Uribe said one out-of-town visitor recently donated $1,500 because he was so impressed.
“Then we get those people who look in their car seats and purses and sometimes we get the ashtray of coins,” said Uribe. “That’s where we get the surprises. One year there was pair of diamond earrings.”
The grounds of the shrine are open year-round but the Way of Lights display is open nightly from 5pm to 9pm through December 31st.