Prayers, Quips and Quotes: Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Feast Day Nov. 27


The feast day of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal is celebrated on November 27.


The miraculous medal was the result of visions which occurred to St. Catherine Laboure’. She was born in 1806 in Paris, France. After having a dream about St. Vincent de Paul, she joined the Daughters of Charity which was founded by him. She is known as a Marian visionary because of the apparitions which she reported of Ma appearing to her.

On July 18, the first apparition occurred. Catherine saw a lady seated in the sanctuary. She approached her and was instructed how she was to act during times of trial, pointing to the altar for consolation. Mary told her,

“Sorrows will come upon France; the throne will be overthrown.”

A week later the French revolution began in Paris.

On Nov. 27, the lady showed St. Catherine the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, now known as the “Miraculous Medal” .  She gave Catherine the mission of having the medal made and to spread devotion to it.

Catherine reported the visions to her spiritual director, Father Aladal.   Forty five years later, she spoke fully to her supervisors about the apparitions.

The miraculous medal which Mary showed to Catherine was oval showing Mary standing on a globe crushing the head of the serpent. (the devil). Around the image of Mary were the words

“O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”

Mary’s hands were showering a cascade of brilliant rays upon the world.

On the reverse side of the medal was a cross, the symbol of Christ’s redeeming Sacrifice on Mount Calvary for the salvation of the world. The cross was intertwined with the letter “M”.

The “M” stands for both Mary and for Mother and was to be surrounded by twelve stars. The two hearts are the Sacred Heart of Jesus encircled by a crown of thorns and the Immaculate of Mary, pierce by a sword. The Flames symbolize the burning love of Jesus and Mother Mary.

Mary told Catherine,

“All who wear them will receive great graces.”

After two years of investigation Father Aladal went to the archbishop with the request. The request was approved.

At Catherine’s death, on December 31, 1876, at the age of 70, few people knew of her visions. She preferred a silent life, spending her time caring for the aged and sick.

The first two-thousand medals were delivered on June 30, 1832. The spread of the Medal was almost like a miracle in itself. The first supply disappeared quickly. Pope Gregory XVI put one of them at the foot of the crucifix on his desk. By 1836 several million medals had been made. The stories of the cures and wonders of the medal helped to spread its use far and wide.

The Miraculous Medal is considered a sacramental.  Sacramentals lead a person to prayer which opens the person to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Sacramentals can be material things such as blessed objects, such as scapulars, rosaries, crucifixes, medals, or Holy Water.  It can also be actions such as the Sign of the Cross, genuflection, and prayer.

The following explanation of sacramentals is from the Catholic Catechism.

1667 “Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy.”17

1670 Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. “For well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event of their lives with the divine grace which flows from the Paschal mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. From this source all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. There is scarcely any proper use of material things which cannot be thus directed toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God.”176


Most Holy Virgin Mary…

Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit,

Lily of purity, Rose of patience,

Paradise of delight, Mirror of chastity,

Model of innocence…intercede

for this poor banished pilgrim.

Quote of St. Peter of Alcantara; Feast day October 19


November is the Month of the Holy Souls






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