“Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck. Graces will be abundant for those who pray with confidence.”
- Words of Our Lady to Saint Catherine Laboure, November 27, 1830
Today, November 27, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. On July 18, we commemorated the first apparition of Our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, to Saint Catherine Labouré at the convent at Rue du Bac in Paris. Over the course of three apparitions, the second of which we commemorate today, Our Blessed Mother detailed to Saint Catherine the evils of the world, encouraged her to pray for salvation, and provided a means in which for the holy to consecrate themselves to her Sacred Heart, providing protection and grace.
July 1830, Saint Catherine had been in the convent chapel, praying to Saint Vincent de Paul, voicing her desire to see the Blessed Virgin. Retiring to her room, she attempted to sleep, when a mysterious child appeared at the foot of her bed. The child, in a pure, sweet voice, encouraged her, saying, “Sister Catherine, Sister Catherine, get up quickly. Come to the chapel. Our Lady is waiting for you.” Upon arrival at the chapel, Saint Catherine was graced by a visit from Our Blessed Mother. She wrote, “I then bounded to the steps of the altar, knelt, and let my hands rest on the knees of the Blessed Virgin. There I spent the most pleasant time of my life. It would be impossible for me to describe what I experienced. The Blessed Virgin told me how I should conduct myself with regard to my confessor and many other things.”
“My child, the good God wishes to give you a mission. Later I shall let you know what it is. You will have much to suffer.” Noting Catherine’s worry, Our Gentle Mother said: “Do not be afraid of difficulties. Pray to Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament. But do not be afraid.”
“Her height was medium and her countenance, indescribably beautiful. She was dressed in a robe the color of the dawn, high-necked, with plain sleeves. Her head was covered with a white veil, which floated over Her shoulders down to her feet. Her feet rested upon a globe, or rather one half of a globe, for that was all that could be seen. Her hands which were on a level with her waist, held in an easy manner another globe, a figure of the world. Her eyes were raised to Heaven, and her countenance beamed with light as She offered the globe to Our Lord.” When she tried to describe her face, Catherine was only able to say: “it was the Virgin Mary in her maximum beauty.“
“This globe you see [at her feet] represents the whole world, specially France and each soul in particular. The rays symbolizes the graces that I give to those who ask for them. The pearls that don’t have rays are the graces of the souls who don’t ask.”
“Mary conceived without sin, pray for us, who recourse to thee.”
“Have a medal made according to this model. All those who wear it will receive great graces. The graces will more abundant for those who wear it confidence.“ Catherine was then graced with a view of the reverse side of the medal.
On the one side, Mary is standing upon a globe, crushing the head of a serpent beneath her foot. She stands upon the globe, as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her feet crush the serpent to proclaim Satan and all his followers are helpless before her. The year of 1830 on the Miraculous Medal is the year the Blessed Mother gave the design to Saint Catherine. The reference to “Mary conceived without sin” supports the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
On the reverse side of the medal there are twelve stars that encircle a large “M” from which arises a cross. Below are two hearts with flames rising from them. One heart is encircled in thorns and the other is pierced by a sword. The twelve stars refer to the Apostles, who represent the entire Church as it surrounds Mary. They also recall the vision of Saint John, as recorded in Revelation (12:1), in which “a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars.” The cross symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and our redemption, with the bar under the cross a sign of the earth. The “M” signifies Mary, and the interleaving of her initial and the cross shows Mary’s close involvement with Jesus and our world. In this we see Mary’s part in our salvation and her role as mother of the Church. The two hearts represent the love of Jesus and Mary for us.
Daily Miraculous Medal Prayer of Saint Maximilian Kolbe:
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to you. Amen.
Consecration to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate,
we unite ourselves to you under your title of
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
May this medal be for each one of us
a sure sign of your motherly affection for us and a
constant reminder of our filial duties towards you.
While wearing it, may we be blessed by your loving protection
and preserved in the grace of your Son.
Most powerful Virgin, Mother of our Savior,
keep us close to you every moment of our lives
so that like you we may live and act
according to the teaching and example of your Son.
Obtain for us, your children, the grace of a happy death
so that in union with you we may enjoy
the happiness of heaven forever.
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.
Day 330 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Confidence in the graces and blessings of Our Mother.
Requested Intentions: Healing of a family and son (S); Successful marriage (G); End to husband’s addictions; Son’s employment (M); Freedom from financial burdens (M); Healing after a miscarriage (E); For healing of friend; successful resolution of legal matter (A); For unity between estranged friends (E); For a son, falsely arrested (C); Successful employment (J); Successful employment (L); For a healthy child (L); Recovery from stomach illness of a friend (A); Employment and financial security (E); Conversion of sons (L); Freedom from financial stress, employment (C); Spiritual growth and family peace (A); Freedom to immigrate (D); End to debt (N); Restoration of a marriage (J); Complete recovery of son (P); Recovery of parish priest, health of mother, conversion of son (J); Successful employment, end to depression (J); Successful immigration and employment (S); Conversion of an unloving daughter (M); Recovery of husband, health of mother, economic freedom (R); Freedom from depression, restoration of family relationships (N); Restoration of a relationship (J); Healing of friends from cancer (J); Complete healing of a friend with pancreatic cancer (J); Healing of a father following stroke (S).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."
| Labels: Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal