Did you know that “The Miraculous Medal” was originally known as the “Medal of the Immaculate Conception” but because of the many miracles that were occurring, the medal became known as “The Miraculous Medal”.
In the year 1830, in Paris, France, Our Lady appeared to St. Catherine Laboure. The Lady spoke, "My child, the good God wishes to entrust to you a mission." She told Catherine that she would have to endure trials in carrying out the mission, but she would have consolation in knowing that she was working for the glory of God.
The Lady continued, "The times are evil. Sorrows will come upon France; the throne will be overthrown. The Cross will be thrown down and trampled. The Archbishop will be stripped of his clothes. Blood will flow in the streets. The side of Our Lord will be pierced anew. The whole world will be afflicted with tribulations." The Virgin appeared sad and could hardly speak as she said this. But as if giving a remedy, she pointed toward the foot of the altar and said, "Come to the foot of the altar. Here graces will be shed on all who ask for them. Graces will be shed especially on those who ask for them."
The mission that God wanted to entrust to Catherine was made manifest to her on November 27, 1830. It was the mission of making and distributing the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, now known as the Miraculous Medal.
Around the oval frame of the medal we read the words, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you." In this brief prayer we find the truth of (a) the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and (b) Mary’s intercessory power with God for us who ask for her aid.
On the reverse side of the Medal we see a Cross, the symbol of Christ’s Redeeming Sacrifice on Mount Calvary for the salvation of the world. At the base of the Cross is a bar, which symbolizes the foot of the Cross. Intertwined with the bar is the letter "M" symbolizing the Mary’s intimate involvement at the foot of the Cross with her Son’s Redemptive Sacrifice. Since the Cross is the symbol of Christ’s Redemptive Sacrifice, we can also see a Eucharistic symbolism on the Medal. In all of the approved apparitions of Our Lady there is a Eucharistic thrust. She usually asked for a church to be built, in which the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Blessed Sacrament always have prime place. Mary always leads us to Jesus, and Jesus is especially present in the Eucharist. The two Hearts are surmounted by flames, symbolizing the burning love with which Jesus and Mary accomplished the work of Redemption, each in their proper way.
Catherine heard the voice telling her, "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." Many miracles have occurred since Our Lady gave us this great help. By wearing it, we are asking Her to watch over us and to lead us to Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament and away from our present sins.
November 27th is the Feast of the Miraculous Medal. May we again turn to Our Lady during these trying times and place blessed medals on our loved ones. Maybe we could distribute them as gifts during this Christmas season.
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 5 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!