Feast of the Apparition of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
The Miraculous Medal comes directly from the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother. It is a gift from Heaven that has never ceased to work wonders of grace throughout the world. It is a simple and very efficacious way of benefitting from the protection of Mary in all our spiritual and temporal needs.
On November 27, 1830, in the Chapel of the Daughters of Charity, Rue du Bac, Paris, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Catherine Labouré (1806-1876) for the second time. On that day, the Queen of Heaven manifested Herself with a globe beneath Her feet, and holding in Her hands, at the height of Her breast, another smaller globe which She seemed to offer Our Lord in a gesture of supplication. Suddenly Her fingers were covered with rings and very beautiful gems; the rays that shone from them darted in all directions…
The Blessed Virgin lowered Her eyes to the humble novice nun who was contemplating Her. She said to her, “Behold the symbol of the graces I pour upon those who ask Me for them…” Saint Catherine Labouré writes: Saying this, She made me understand how generous She is towards those who pray to Her, what graces She grants to those who ask Her for them, what joy She experiences in granting them. “The gems that remain in the shadows symbolize the graces people forget to ask of Me.”
At that moment an oval frame formed around the Blessed Virgin, upon which one could read the following words written in gold letters:
conceived without sin,
pray for us
who have recourse to Thee..
In an attitude that invited recourse and confidence, Mary lowered and stretched out Her hands as we see them represented on the medal.
Sister Catherine Labouré beheld this vision with great joy. A voice said to her, “Have a medal struck according to this design; the persons who wear it will receive great graces, especially in wearing it around the neck. Graces will be abundant for persons who wear it with confidence.”
The frame seemed to turn, and on the reverse side Sister Catherine saw the letter M surmounted by a little cross, and below it the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the first surrounded by a crown of thorns and the second pierced by a sword. Twelve stars surrounded the monogram of Mary and the two Holy Hearts.
Sister Catherine faithfully accomplished the mission which Heaven entrusted to her, but out of humility and love for the hidden life, she acted in such a way that until her death, no one around her ever knew that she was the Messenger chosen by the Queen of Heaven. Her confessor received her confidences, but he hesitated a long time before believing them. Urged repeatedly by the Blessed Virgin, he finally decided to speak of it to Archbishop Quélen of Paris. That was in 1832. The medal was struck, and at once it underwent a prodigious propagation all over the world, accompanied by incessant wonders of healing, protection and conversion, to the point that it was given the name of the Miraculous Medal.
Let us wear this Medal of the Blessed Virgin with respect, and let us repeat often, with confidence and love, the invocation by which our Heavenly Mother wishes us to ask Her for Her favors: