Sunday, November 27, 2005
175th Anniversary of the Miraculous Medal  

Today marks the 175th Anniversary of the apparition of Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Catherine Laboure in which our Lady instructed Catherine to have a medal struck with the words "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." This medal which became know as the Miraculous Medal, has been a powerful sacramental ever since the devotion surrounding it began shortly after this apparition.
Saturday, November 27, 1830, was just another day, busy like all the rest with prayer and work and study of the things of God. The next day would be the First Sunday of Advent. At half past five, all the Sisters, professed and novices alike, gathered in the chapel for their evening meditation. The chill November dusk had settled outside, and the chapel was in semi-darkness.

Catherine liked this time of evening. She had always liked it. even at home: the laborious day was over and the tired mind found rest in thinking of God. Tonight, the quiet voice of the Sister reading the prophecies of Christ's coming at Christmas seemed like the voice of Isaiah himself, calling down the centuries. In the darkness, time and place were no more; only the mind was alive. The voice stopped, and a great stillness followed.

Suddenly, Catherine's heart leaped. She had heard it—that rustling, that faint swish of silk she could never forget, the sound of Our Lady's gown as she walked! There it was again—and there was the Queen of Heaven, there in the sanctuary, standing upon a globe. She shone as the morning rising, a radiant vision, "in all her perfect beauty," as Catherine said later.

Catherine's eyes widened with bliss at the sight. Yet they were not so dazzled but that, womanlike, they took note of every detail of the Virgin's dress: that her robe was of silk, "of the whiteness of the dawn," that the neck of it was cut high and the sleeves plain, that she wore a white veil which fell to her feet, and beneath the veil a lace fillet binding her hair.

The Virgin held in her hands a golden ball which she seemed to offer to God, for her eyes were raised heavenward. Suddenly, her hands were resplendent with rings set with precious stones that glittered and flashed in a brilliant cascade of light. So bright was the flood of glory cast upon the globe below that Catherine could no longer see Our Lady's feet.

Mary lowered her eyes and looked full at Sister Laboure. Her lips did not move, but Catherine heard a voice.

"The ball which you see represents the whole world, especially France, and each person in particular."

These words stirred the heart of the Sister with fresh transports of joy, and the dazzling rays seemed to her to increase to blinding brilliance.

"These rays symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The gems from which rays do not fall are the graces for which souls forget to ask."

At this moment, Catherine was so lost in delight that she scarcely knew where she was, whether she lived or died. The golden ball vanished from Mary's hands; her arms swept wide in a gesture of motherly compassion, while from her jeweled fingers the rays of light streamed upon the white globe at her feet. An oval frame formed around the Blessed Virgin, and written within it in letters of gold Catherine read the words:

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

The voice spoke again:

"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 tableau revolved, and Catherine beheld the reverse of the Medal she was to have made. It contained a large M surmounted by a bar and a cross. Beneath the M were the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the one crowned with thorns, the other pierced with a sword. Twelve stars encircled the whole.

And then the vision was gone. Source

Posted by David at 11:15 PM  |  Comments (1)  | 


very cool that you marked this date. I didn't see others commemorating the day yesterday.

By Blogger Iosephus, at November 28, 2005 10:24 PM  

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