Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

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Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

St. Catherine Labouré told Fr. Aladel, at first orally and then 26 years later in written form, the details surrounding the various apparitions that she had seen in the chapel of the Rue du Bac between the months of April and December 1830: visions of St. Vincent's heart on three consecutive days and in various forms and different colors, visions of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and of Christ the King and three apparitions of the Virgin (18-19 July, 27 November and December).

All these visions contained a message that was revealed to Catherine. She herself interpreted the message and transmitted to us the meaning of the different colors of St. Vincent's heart, the clothing of Christ the King, the gestures and words of the Virgin and the symbols on the Medal.

The Virgin's first two visions were accompanied by pronouncements. In the dialogue that lasted two and a half hours, during the night of 18-19 July, the Virgin communicated to St. Catherine the fact that some sad events in the political, social and religious order were drawing near. The Virgin also spoke of some abuses that were taking place in the two Companies and of the special protection that both would have from the Virgin and from St. Vincent.

The vision of 27 November, which occurred during Catherine's evening prayer, had two distinct, though closely related, moments. In the first moment, she saw the Virgin with a dress of white silk and a veil of the same color draped to the floor. On her head was a crown of twelve stars. Her feet rested on a half sphere, trampling the head of a snake; in her hands she held a sphere with a cross on top of it and her eyes were lifted toward heaven. Her fingers were adorned with rings of various sized stones that sent rays of light toward the floor. The Virgin was surrounded by an oval, which contained the following words: O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. Catherine listened to the Virgin's voice as she interpreted the meaning of the globe and of the rays. The Virgin asked her to have a medal struck, which would represent the vision that had just occurred, and finally the Virgin expressed her joy in bestowing abundant graces on those who request them and on those who confidently wear the Medal.

The second moment of the same apparition was Catherine's vision of the reverse side of the Medal. She saw the letter “M” and two hearts united by a cross. Days later, also during prayer, Catherine heard the voice that responded to her concern on how the reverse side of the Medal should be: The “M” and the two hearts say enough.

Catherine remained silent about those visions during the 40 years of her hidden life and work in Reuilly. Except for her spiritual director, Fr. Aladel, and Sr. Dufès, at the end of Catherine's life, no one else suspected the identity of the visionary of the Virgin.

External Links

Story of the Miraculous Medal

Tour of the Shrine in Paris