Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Miraculous Medal

I have always had remarkable experiences with Mary the Mother of Jesus. I think these began when my mother (who always identified with Mother Mary very strongly as a woman) read to me "Blessed Among Women". This book being read to me around when I was 10 to 12 years of age gave me a lot of comfort. Somehow I was able to take in an acceptance of Mary before I entered into a much more agressive and fearful of my early teens, rebellion and agnosticism until I was about 14.

When my ex-wife and I divorced my then 5 year old daughter who is now 23 asked me to stay in her tree house with her. So, I did that and during the night I had a visitation from Mary the mother of Jesus. This was in 1994. Mary appeared above me and said, "You must find a way to stay calm with your divorce. If you can stay self disciplined through all this I will always be there for you." So I stayed disciplined both as a father and as an ex-husband and when I met my next wife since I was having trouble wearing rings then because my hands started swelling up at night I decided to wear a St. Catherine Miraculous Medal instead of a wedding band. Though my wife wears a wedding band and a diamond ring together I only wear my Miraculous Mary medal struck originally in the early 1800s by St. Catherine in France.

Then in 2010 in October my wife and two daughters went to Paris. Before I went I was pretty upset about going because I wanted to take a completely different trip. However, when I got to Paris I realized it was sort of like a Disneyland for adults and Versailles was this kind of place as well. We were staying at a hotel in Saint Germain en-Laye which is an area near the Louvre when we found out about the Rue Du Bac:

The Apparitions at
Rue du Bac

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The Miraculous MedalStatue Of Our Lady at Rue du Bac chapel (Donal Foley)

Catherine Labouré was a twenty-four year old novice sister when she was privileged to see Mary, late at night, on 18 July 1830, in the chapel at the convent at Rue du Bac in Paris. She was escorted by a figure she later took to be her guardian angel and saw Mary descend the altar steps and sit in the spiritual director's chair. She told Catherine that she had a mission for her and of the bad times which were to come, but promised help and grace for those who prayed. In particular she spoke of the religious persecution which would break out in Paris later in the century, while also foretelling the coming events in the capital. Catherine repeated all this to her spiritual director, Fr Aladel, who was sceptical, but this scepticism disappeared when the revolution in Paris began just over a week later on 27 July 1830.
Statue of Our Lady of the Globe above casket with incorrupt body of St Catherine Labouré (Donal Foley)Later in the same year, on 27 November, Catherine again saw Mary in the chapel, during community meditation. She was dressed in white, standing on a globe and holding a golden ball, with rings on her fingers flashing with light. An inner voice told her that the ball represented the whole world and that the rays coming from Mary's fingers represented graces for individuals.
The golden ball then vanished as this apparition changed to represent Mary with her arms outstretched, inside an oval frame with golden lettering: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Again, an interior voice spoke, telling her to have a medal struck on this model. It would be a source of great graces and should be worn around the neck.
Then she was shown the reverse of the medal, consisting of a large "M" surmounted by a bar and cross, with two hearts, representing the hearts of Jesus and Mary, all encircled by twelve stars. Again Fr Aladel was reluctant to act, but once the medal was struck and distributed, it rapidly earned the title of the "Miraculous" medal.
A canonical inquiry was initiated by Archbishop de Quelen and this concluded that Catherine was of good character, that the apparitions she had reported were to be accepted, and that the Miraculous Medal was supernaturally inspired and responsible for genuine miracles.
It was an important element in reviving catholic belief in France, as well as in preparing the way for the proclamation of the dogma of Mary's Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX in 1854. As foretold the Paris revolution of 1871 had very anti-religious elements, but fortunately the power of the Commune was defeated.
Catherine worked in a hostel for old men for forty years and was eventually canonised as St. Catherine Labouré, in 1947.
Mary's words at Rue du Bac
Sources: Dirvin, Saint Catherine Labouré of the Miraculous Medal, Rockford, 1984; Laurentin, The Life of Catherine Labouré, London, 1983.

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end quote. So, since it was nearby, we found to the hotel where we were staying we walked their from our hotel. As we walked into the church I watched the angels run up to me to tell me how to behave in this sacred place where Mary inhabits and the non-decomposing body of St. Catherine is in a glass case there. I was very surprised as this is fairly unusual in any church for this to happen.

Since ST. Catherine passed away in 1876 and her body still hasn't decomposed even though it was buried for many years is evidence of her sainthood and of her experiences with Mary, the mother of Jesus. However, I too, can attest to many many miracles in my life since I began wearing this miraculous medal both in my life and those surrounding me as relatives and friends. So, if you have faith in Mary and St. Catherine wearing this medal may bring miracles into your life too. I have worn one made of Gold since I married in December 1995. But before then for a few years I wore a silver one. I likely will wear this miraculous medal the rest of my life because of all the people it Helps by the Grace of God ongoing. 


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