November 27 - Our Lady of The Miraculous Medal
Commemoration of the apparition of the Virgin to Saint Catherine of Labouré
The medal of the Immaculate Conception, commonly called the Miraculous Medal, was manifested to a spiritual daughter of Saint Vincent de Paul: Saint Catherine Laboure. This took place in the chapel of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity, 140 rue du Bac, Paris, France.
The Virgin Spoke, this time giving a direct order: "Have a Medal struck after this model. All who wear it will receive great graces; they should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for persons who wear it with confidence."
The devotion spread like wildfire. Marvels of grace and health, peace and prosperity, followed in its wake. Before long people were calling it the “Miraculous” Medal. In 1836, a canonical inquiry undertaken at Paris declared the apparitions to be genuine.
The Meaning of the Front Side of the Miraculous Medal
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 (Gn 3:15). The year of 1830 on the Miraculous Medal is the year the Blessed Mother gave the design of the Miraculous Medal to Saint Catherine Labouré. The reference to Mary conceived without sin supports the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary—not to be confused with the virgin birth of Jesus, and referring to Mary's sinlessness, “full of grace” and “blessed among women” (Luke 1:28)—that was proclaimed 24 years later in 1854.
The Meaning of the Back Side of the Miraculous Medal
The twelve stars can refer to the Apostles, who represent the entire Church as it surrounds Mary. They also recall the vision of Saint John, writer of the Book of 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 can symbolize Christ and our redemption, with the bar under the cross a sign of the earth. The “M” stands for 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. (See also Lk 2:35).
Prayer of Saint Catherine Laboure
Whenever I go to the chapel, I put myself in the presence of our good Lord, and I say to him, "Lord, I am here. Tell me what you would have me to do."
If he gives me some task, I am content and I thank him.
If he gives me nothing, I still thank him since I do not deserve to receive anything more than that.
And then, I tell God everything that is in my heart.
I tell him about my pains and my joys, and then I listen.
If you listen, God will also speak to you, for with the good Lord, you have to both speak and listen.
Act of Consecration to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
O Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, we dedicate and consecrate ourselves to you under the title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. May this Medal be for each one of us a sure sign of your affection for us and a constant reminder of our duties toward you. Ever while wearing it, may we be blessed by your loving protection and preserved in the grace of your Son. O most powerful Virgin, Mother of our Savior, keep us close to you every moment of our lives. Obtain for us, your children, the grace of a happy death; so that, in union with you, we may enjoy the bliss of heaven forever. Amen.
O Mary, conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to you. (repeat 3 times)