Odds are you have seen one of these medals at some point, it is a small oval shaped pendent often worn by those of the Roman Catholic Faith. For Roman Catholics and some Protestants this small medal holds a profound spiritual significance. To understand the significance of the Miraculous Medal one must look in to it’s history. Please note: That the text marked with “parentheses” is believed by many to be the words spoken by the Virgin Mary to Catherine Labouré in 1830.
The 1st Apparition:
On the night of July 18-19, 1830 Catherine Labouré, a novice in the community of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, France was awakened by the voice of a child calling her to the chapel. In the chapel Catherine experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ who spoke with her for several hours. During this experience Mary gave Catherine a message “God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace to do what is necessary. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world.”
The 2nd Apparition:
On the evening of November 27, 1830 during the time of meditation, Catherine experienced another vision of the Virgin Mary. In her vision Mary appeared to be standing on a half globe, holding a golden globe in her raised hands. Written on the globe was the inscription “France”. Mary spoke with Catherine and explained that the globe represented all the nations of the world, but especially France. (During this period of time France was a difficult place to live, especially for the poor, unemployed and those who were refugees of war.) Catherine then saw rays of light which streamed from rings upon Mary’s fingers as she held the golden globe in hers. Mary then explained to Catherine that the rays of light were to symbolize the graces that she would obtained for those ask. Some of the gems set in to Mary’s rings were dark, she explained that the dark gems symbolize the graces were available but were not given because no one had asked.
The 3rd Apparition:
The vision then began to change. Catherine saw Mary standing upon a globe, her arms outstretched rays of light shown from her fingers. Around Mary was an oval frame with the inscription: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
The vision turned and Catherine saw what would one day be the reverse side of the Miraculous Medal. Twelve stars encircling a large “M” arising from the “M’ was a cross. Below the large M were two hearts with flames rising up from them. One of the hearts encircled with thorns, the other heart pierced by a sword. Mary told Catherine: “Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around their neck.”
Catherine explained the entire series of visions to her confessor who agreed to help her with this task. Catherine worked through her confessor to carry out Mary’s instructions. After two years of investigation and observation the priest took the information to his archbishop without revealing Catherine’s identity. It was not until 1877 near the dead of her life, that Catherine revealed that she had received the Medal. The first medals were made in 1832 and with the approval of the Roman Catholic Church were distributed in Paris, France. Documents from this time report that those who wore the medal experienced many blessings. The devotion became wide spread among the people of France. Because of the many blessings that followed those who wore the medal, it soon became known as the Miraculous Medal. In 1836, the Roman Catholic Church undertaken a Canonical inquiry in Paris, France. After much investigation the apparitions were declared to be genuine. On July 27, 1947, Catherine Labouré was canonized by Pope Pius XII.
To those who wear the Miraculous Medal it is not viewed as a superstitious practice, but as a testimony of the Miraculous power of prayer.
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This organization will give a free Miraculous Medal upon request.