Thursday, December 07, 2006

Medal of the Immaculate Conception (Miraculous Medal)

Tomorrow on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception I will be blessing and distributing Miraculous Medals, properly they are called Medals of the Immaculate Conception, after Masses tomorrow.

On the night of 18 July, 1830, a "child" awakened Sr. Catherine Labouré in her Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul convent at 140 Rue du Bac, Paris, telling her to go to the convent's chapel where Mary awaited her. There Mary told her:
God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world. Come to the foot of the altar. Graces will be shed on all, great and little, especially upon those who seek them. Another community of sisters will join the Rue du Bac community. The community will become large; you will have the protection of God and Saint Vincent; I will always have my eyes upon you.
Later that year, on 27 November, Catherine saw another vision of Mary. She describes her like this: Her height was medium and her countenance, indescribably beautiful. She was dressed in a robe the color of the dawn, high-necked, with plain sleeves. Her head was covered with a white veil, which floated over Her shoulders down to her feet. Her feet rested upon a globe, or rather one half of a globe, for that was all that could be seen. Her hands which were on a level with her waist, held in an easy manner another globe, a figure of the world. Her eyes were raised to Heaven, and her countenance beamed with light as She offered the globe to Our Lord.
Mary told her that the globe represented the whole world, especially France, a country whose faithful had recently suffered horrible persecutions in the Revolution's Terrors and was still going through "Enlightenment" perfidy. The vision changed to Mary, still standing on a globe, rays of light streaming from her fingers, enframed in an oval frame inscribed with the words, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." The whole vision "turned" showing the back of the oval inscribed with the letter "M" entwined with a Cross, and the hearts of Jesus and Mary, the former surrounded with thorns, the latter pierced with a sword. 12 stars circled this oval frame, symbolizing the 12 Tribes of Israel and the 12 Apostles, and showing Mary as the Mother of Israel, per the Apocalypse (ch. 12). Mary told her to strike a medal in this form, and that all who wore it after having it blessed would receive graces.

Sr. Catherine's spiritual director told Catherine's story to the Bishop of Paris, who not only allowed the medal to be struck, but received some of them himself. One of these he had with him when ministering to Napoleon's dying, heretical chaplain. The dying man had obstinately refused to reconcile with the Church, but as the Bishop was leaving after trying one last time to get him to see the error of his ways, the man suddenly broke down and repented. The Bishop attributed this to the Virgin's intercessions through the medal.

Another miraculous conversion involved that of a wealthy Jewish banker-lawyer named Alphonse Ratisbonne. He was actually dared to wear one of the medals and to pray the Memorare. This he did, and as he visited a church to arrange a funeral for a friend, he had a vision of Our Lady as she appears on the Medal. He instantly converted, and became a priest.The Medal of the Immaculate Conception, now known as the Miraculous Medal, has become one of the most commonly worn sacramentals in the Roman Church.
From Fish Eaters

One used to hear lots of stories of the extra-ordinary events that flowed from this Medal, it became known as "miraculous" because of what it accomplished. The Tyburn nuns threw Miraculous Medals over the garden wall of a house they thought would make a good convent, the house came on the market and is now their present convent. I have to admit that when I heard this parish might actually become vacant I followed their example and I sneaked down here and secreted a Medal on a wall, it was still there when I was appointed.
One hears of lots of stories of graces received from the use of this Medal, if you have had experiences write about them, briefly, in comments.


Anonymous said...

Some might hide a miraculous medal in your church with other intensions.

Fr Ray Blake said...

True, but I have more.

Ttony said...

We had a knock on the door. Two children, aged five and two, both with colds, my wife trying to clean the house, me trying to get the children's tea ready, a cold January evening: just when you don't want visitors.

It was two ladies from the Legion of Mary. We don't have the Legion in this parish. "We decided we'd come to this parish if the PP gave us some addresses to visit" they said. "Do you pray as a family?"

I was a bit stunned but told them the truth: "we all say the 'Hail Mary' when we're going up to bed after reading stories to the children."

"Fine. We won't bother you. Give these to the children." They gave us two Miraculous Medals on thin blue cotton.

Both children decided to hang them up in their rooms. We moved house. The medals went up in the new house on the day we moved. They are now 16 and 13 and the medals are still up in their rooms.

Were these ladies from the Legion? Were we entertaining angels unaware? I don't know.

1dayin7 said...

It's actually called "Our Lady of Graces", isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"Some might hide a miraculous medal in your church with other intensions."

Some might be able to spell "intentions".

Anonymous said...

I have one of these medals except it has asian writing around the front edge. Is this the same medal?