The miraculous medal represents one of the most important symbols of the Catholic Church, with an annual celebration thousands of faithful gather to gild it, know through this article, its origin and history.
the miraculous medal
Also called “Miraculous Medal of the Immaculate Conception” it is a very beautiful oval object designed by indications of the Blessed Virgin Mary herself in one of her apparitions during the eighteenth century, they contain impressions spiritual powers that have allowed over the years to obtain the favor and the devotion of thousands of people.
People wear it around their neck or in some other way to seek God’s grace and protection through the Virgin, it is considered of the utmost importance within the Catholic religion and believers have maintained the devotion for many years.
Who was Catherine de Labouré?
But it was Catherine de Labouré, she was a young woman who had been born on May 2, 1806 in the town of Fin les Moutiers, in Burgundy, France, she was born into a humble family and from a very young age her vocation for the ministry of God became present in their life.
She began in the world of religion by going to the community of the Sisters of Charity on January 22, 1830, three months later she was transferred to the novitiate in the country’s capital on Rue du Bac, after the events that occurred in his life dedicated to Christianity, He died on December 31, 1876, in Paris, France was declared. She was canonized on July 27, 1947. By Pope Pius XII
Saint Vincent and his heart.
During her service in the congregation, Catalina had moments of light where some situations were revealed to her, the first was when the new sister was present when the remains of the founder of the Saint Valentine of Paul order were carried to the recently inaugurated Church of the Fathers Paules.
The right arm of the Saint was left in the chapel that he had founded so that when the respective novels were made, Catalina observed the heart of Saint Valentine of various colors.
Descriptions of each of those colors were reflected in his mind, where white represented the union that must exist between all the congregants of the brotherhood founded by Saint Vincent, red the energy and strength of the congregations.
According to Catalina, the darkest red expressed the sadness and suffering that she herself was going to suffer, then she heard a voice in her mind that told her:
“The heart of Saint Vincent is deeply afflicted by the evils that are going to come to France. This heart is more consoled for having obtained from God, through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, that neither of the two congregations perish in the midst of these misfortunes, but that God will make use of them to revive faith.”
Visions in the Eucharist.
When Catherine was in the Rue du Bac, during the nine months that she was lodged, she had the grace to see the Lord daily in the Blessed Sacrament. It was a Sunday of the Eucharist on June 6, 1830, according to Catalina, the man appeared to her during the gospel in the form of a King, he had a cross on his chest.
Immediately the clothes of the Jesus that was in the Church fell to the floor, the same thing happened with the cross that he had on his chest, Sister Catalina immediately wrote the following:
“I had the darkest and most terrible ideas: that the King of the earth was lost and would be stripped of his royal robes. Yes, bad things were coming.”
dreams with the virgin
The eve of the festivities of San Vicente de Paul represented for Sister Catalina an important moment in her life, during the day the teacher had given them information regarding the devotion of the saints and especially of the Virgin Mary, they were so beautiful the words of the instructor that impacted Catalina.
As a tradition of the holidays, each sister was given a small piece of canvas from a roquete of the saint so that they could swallow it, Catalina did the same and went to her rooms to sleep, she always thought of Saint Vincent and the presence of the angel of the guard who always talked to her.
Who gave her divine grace every night for her devotion, in this way Catalina obtained food for her heart and spirit, giving her confidence allowing her to live life full of hope.
apparitions of the virgin
The history of the miraculous medal is framed in three important apparitions that took place in Paris, France, where apparitions began to appear to Catherine de Labouré who was in a community of sisters of charity, she received a message of the virgin of the miraculous medal that was later dispersed throughout the world, but let’s see the apparitions step by step.
Between July 18 and 19, 1830, a very strange child went to where Sister Catalina Labouré was sleeping, and told her that she had to go urgently to the chapel, when the sister arrived, she found a very beautiful resplendent woman dressed of white.
It was the Virgin Mary who next to her was a globe that shone a lot and on it a cross, The Virgin opened her arms and extended her hands from where some luminous rays came out that reached the ground, and the Virgin said to Catalina: “My girl, I am going to entrust you with a mission”
The virgin disappeared and Catalina was so impressed with this apparition that the next day she told all her sisters who, astonished, could not believe what Catalina had seen, but the apparitions were not over yet.
After the virgin had given her that information, Maria, doubt was surrounding her when on November 17, 1930, (also called the day of the miraculous medal), the virgin reappeared but this time at the entrance to the chapel.
The virgin was on top of a bright circular figure holding a medal, and the lighting was very intense, Catalina was astonished when she suddenly saw Catalina, and directing her gaze to the sky she said:
“This globe that you have seen is the entire world where my children live. These luminous rays are the graces and blessings that I expand on all those who invoke me as Mother. I feel so happy to be able to help the children who implore me for protection. But there are so many who never invoke me! And many of these precious rays are lost, because they rarely pray to me.
The Virgin also explained that the sphere represents the whole world but especially France, where difficult times will come, especially for the poor who have many deficiencies, the ecclesiastical leadership of Paris and the death of some spiritual leaders.
After the first two apparitions, the Virgin reappeared to Catalina who, in a somewhat strange way and mounted on a kind of very luminous globe, extended her hands and from the rings of the Virgin came some luminous rays and the Virgin told her:
“These rays and the graces that will be obtained by those who ask for them”
Catalina noticed that some rings did not glow. However, some of the jewelry in the rings was off. Maria explained to Catalina that the rays and graces were available to everyone but no one had asked for them. Then a large halo was formed on Maria where the following words could be read:
“O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to You.” Then the voice of the virgin was heard who told him: “You have to make a medal similar to what you are seeing. All the people who wear it will feel the protection of the Virgin”.
At that moment an M appeared and above it a cross, and under these two hearts, one of Jesus and the other of Mary. And the balloon disappeared from the hands of the virgin. In this way the virgin became known in the world as the mediator of the graces that come with Jesus, the golden globe represents the riches of God that will be granted to whoever asks for them.
Meaning of the Miraculous Medal.
The miraculous medal has the representation of the Virgin Mary standing on a globe similar to the earth, stepping on the head of a snake, this represents the virgin as the queen of heaven and earth. Stepping on the serpent’s head is a reflection of submission to satan and of having no power on earth.
This medal is the reflection of the main idea of Mary conceived without sin full of grace and blessed by God, she is blessed among all women for being the daughter of the son of God and her purity has been maintained in the church for many centuries.
In the medal you can see Mary crushing her head of the snake which is perched on the world or what seems to be the planet earth, this is and as we said before the reflection of her power in the world as Queen.
A very beautiful costume is observed along with twelve stars that are on her head, which indicates that she is the woman of the apocalypse representing the sun. It is also observed that the virgin has her hands outstretched from which radiate rays come out.
These rays are the divine grace that Mary offers the world, it is her mission as a mother to protect man, as she did with her son. The ejaculation establishes the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the Mission of trust intercession and resort to the Mother.
There is also a globe under his feet and in his hands there is also another globe reflecting the offering of the world to Jesus.
The first observation that is appreciated is a cross, which is the meaning of the ministry of redemption. Then the letter “M” is observed, that of Mary and mother, the symbols of eternal spiritual motherhood, father’s protection for all, the men of the world.
There is a bar which is a letter of the Greek alphabet “J” Yota, which indicates the name and presence of Jesus. Twelve stars impress that are the perennial reflection of the Church of Jesus, founded by the apostles and that endures over time.
Two hearts that are the integrity of Jesus the Son and Mary the Mother like nests for love, a unity that will never dissolve and a manifestation of the reign of both on earth.
Instructions left by the virgin
They are really some prophecies that some have been fulfilled and some are yet to be fulfilled, they are a fairly extensive number that the Virgin explicitly left to Saint Catherine, some are not known because they were kept secret, by order and instructions of the Virgin herself, We see the revealed:
- The behavior towards the direction, should be based on humility and obedience, despite the fact that her mentor, Father Juan María Aladel, does not believe in her and less in her visions, suggesting rather that she forget them.
- The behavior towards sorrows must be manifested through meekness, patience and joy.
- Going constantly and permanently to the doors of the altar, in order to relieve your heart of all sorrows, there is the only place where you will receive divine comfort, not human.
From the regulatory point of view, the virgin expresses a special meaning with respect to the apparitions and revelations that she had of Saint Valentine and the Lord, we see:
“God wants to entrust you with a mission; It will cost you work, but you will overcome it thinking that you do it for the glory of God. You will know how good God is. You will have to suffer until you tell them to your director. You will not lack contradictions; but grace will assist you; do not worry. Talk to your director with confidence and simplicity; have confidence do not fear. You will see certain things; tell them You will receive inspirations in prayer.”
“The times are very dire. Misfortunes must rain down on France. The throne will be brought down. The whole world will be afflicted by calamities of all kinds (when saying this the Virgin was very sad). Come to the foot of this altar, where graces were lavished on all who ask for them with fervor; everyone, big and small, rich and poor.”
“I wish to shower graces on your community; I ardently desire it. It pains me that there are great abuses in observance, that the rules are not followed, that there is so much relaxation in both communities despite the fact that there are great souls in them. Tell the one who is in charge of you, even if he is not the superior. He will soon be put in charge of the community. He must do what he can to restore the force of the rule. When this happens another community will join yours.”
And it continues with revelations that take on importance and body, when they are reviewed and it is appreciated that they have a depth of content that it would be impossible for a simple sister, however devoted and dedicated, to have such a broad spiritual depth:
“A time will come when the danger will be great; everything will be believed lost; then I will be with you, have confidence. You will recognize my visit and the protection of God and Saint Vincent over the two communities.”
“But it will not be the same in other communities, in them there will be victims (tears in the eyes.) The clergy of Paris will have many victims. The Archbishop will die. My daughter, the cross will be despised, and the Heart of my Son will be pierced again; blood will run through the streets.
According to Catalina, when this information was revealed to her, the Virgin could not speak, she felt her voice broken by the emotion of sadness that overwhelmed her, and according to her, her face was pale, and then the Virgin told her:
“The whole world will be sad. She thinks: when will this happen? and an inner voice assures: forty years and ten and then peace.”
Catalina says that after being with her for about two hours, she disappears in a very similar way to when the shadows disappear.
In these apparitions the virgin really communicates the mission that Saint Catherine must fulfill, among the main ones a family relationship between mother and daughter, Mary adopts her as her daughter and communicates with her, entrusts her revelations and explains what she must do, The revelations began to manifest as follows:
- The French Revolution began a week after the Virgin appeared to him.
- Father Aladel, who was the current director appointed director of the daughters of charity of all France, an event that occurred in 1846.
- When she was 40 years old, Catalina faces a danger predicted by the Virgin, she faces the horrors of the commune and the execution of the Archbishop and Monsignor Darboy along with other Monsignors.
It is said that there were still revelations that could not be known, since Catherine offered her votes of secrecy and trust to the virgin, who in one of her appearances told her that she should not reveal those future events, the saint took those secrets to the grave and many believers were left with the great doubt that it would happen later.
Why the message of the Virgin on the medal?
When the Virgin appears to Sister Catalina, she was extremely worried about the future events that were going to happen, so she ordered a medal to be minted with specific indications, according to Catalina, this was the order:
“Have a medal minted according to this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck.”
Catalina never revealed the design of the medal, she only explained the details of the apparitions to her confessor, it is not known for sure what the model of how to mint the medal really was, however when she was 47 years old, it was that she gave some details of How should the medal be shaped?
The Church, after a great analysis and study of Catherine’s statements, approved the elaboration of the first medals around 1832, and in this way they are distributed throughout France, the message sent to all bearers, which whoever had possession could have the blessing of the virgin
This devotion spread throughout the country quickly, which made the devotion become an important religious action for the faithful. By 1836 an investigation began in order to establish that the apparitions were declared authentic.
Some consider that the apparitions to Catherine are related to magic and superstition, however their purpose has been diverted by some people who are not in harmony with the Catholic faith, using the medal as a kind of good luck charm.
The medal is really a testimony of faith, recognized by the Church and considered one of the sacred objects of Catholicism, the Catholic community and the parish the miraculous medal, dispersed throughout the world, recognizes his miracles, which are attributed to patience, forgiveness, repentance and faith in God. Who uses the medal as an instrumental agent to bestow divine grace.
The Virgin gave the design of the medal to Catalina in order to give it to everyone so that according to her order each person should wear one. In the United States there is an organization called “Association of the Miraculous Medal”, it is located in Perryville, Missouri. which also has the temple called Church of the miraculous medal
This Organization is in charge of carrying out the request of the Virgin, of coining and distributing the Miraculous Medal for free, those interested can contact the organization and it sends the respective garment.
The medal has converted many people who do not even have faith in the Church, religious conversion establishes the religious practice by which a person adopts, in a proper way related to the beliefs in a community of specific believers.
There is a very important case called the conversion of Regensburg, it is a fact that happened some years ago with respect to a person who was a Jew, by profession a lawyer and who professed a lot of hatred towards Catholics. His brother had converted to Christianity a few years ago and was ordained a priest and, above all, he was the bearer of a miraculous Medal.
On a trip that took him to Rome by mistake and days before marrying his older brother’s daughter (these cases in Jews are relatively normal and even more so in the 19th century). While in Rome at the house of his friend, Baron Teodoro de Busier, who was a Protestant converted to Catholicism. He offered to walk him around the city to meet her.
They arrive at a place where meetings and gatherings were held with many friends of the Baron, who were Christians and non-Christians, between the conversations Alfonso spoke very badly about Catholicism, so the Baron watched him and patiently waiting for him to finish and told him :
“Since you are so sure of yourself, promise me to take with you what I am going to give you”
And he gave him the Miraculous Medal, to which Alfonso immediately rejected and indignantly tried to throw it away, the baron seeing his friend’s intention told him:
“According to your ideas, accepting it should leave you indifferent. Instead, it would give me satisfaction.” Alfonso put on the medal to show the baron that he was not so stubborn and radical and, showing a laugh, placed it around his neck.
The baron asked those present for a prayer in order to thank his friend for having interceded to accept the Medal and said:
“If he has put the miraculous medal on him and made him pray the Memorare, he will surely convert.”
A few days later the baron meets his friend again, who was on his last day of visit in Rome, and invites him to go to the Church of San Andres in order to arrange the services of his friend Count La Ferronats who he had died two days later, having released the medal to Alfonso.
The count was a great devotee of the Medal and constantly went to the Church to pray for his health and his family, when entering the Ratisbone Church he declared the following:
“Within a few moments of being in the Church, I felt overwhelmed by an inexplicable embarrassment. I raised my eyes and it seemed to me that the whole building disappeared from my sight. The chapel of San Miguel had concentrated all the light, and in the midst of that splendor it appeared on the altar, radiant and full of majesty and sweetness.”
“The Blessed Virgin as it is engraved on the medal. An irresistible force propelled me toward the chapel. Then the Virgin made me a sign with her hand as if indicating that I should kneel down. Our Lady did not speak to me but I have understood everything.”
When the Baron looks for his friend in the Church, he finds him kneeling, crying and praying with his hands joined, he was also kissing the Miraculous Medal, the Baron surprised, watches him and says nothing, then leaves. Some, after Ratisbone was baptized in the Church of Ges in Rome.
In those years the revelation reached the pope and later began a process of canonization by conversion where the Church itself considered the event a true miracle. The former Jew Alfonso Ratisbone was ordained a priest and was assigned to the Paris congregation, where his brother was, there they worked together for many years in the conversion of the Jews.
This revelation is considered miraculous, and some Jews refute it, and say that it is a manipulation of the Church in order to convert the Jews, however there are witness statements that demonstrate the veracity of these facts, verify that Alfonso Ratisbone really He was Jewish and due to the appearance of the Miraculous Virgin he was able to convert to Christianity.
The Miraculous Medal has a prayer that even taken from Alfonso Ratisbone, believers and devotees perform it in order to have grace, the bearers of it establish a perfect communion between the spiritual power of the virgin and the being, let’s see how it’s done:
“Miraculous Medal, be my shield and protection against every incendiary dart of the evil one. May my physical and spiritual being, through your medal, remain united to you, Miraculous Mother.”
“May your holy medal free me from all evil and danger; may your holy medal protect me from all diseases, pests and viruses; that by invoking your holy prayer: O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who turn to You, be I, my family and loved ones, protected from all calamity and unforeseen death.
“Oh Miraculous Medal, protect my home and material goods from all natural disasters, protect my spiritual life and my whole being; protect me, my mother, with the protective shield of your medal”
“Blessed is he who wears it as a breastplate on his body and soul, because Your protection will be with him night and day. Thank you, My Mother, for your spiritual armor, which keeps the invisible spirit of evil away from me.”
“Oh Miraculous Mary medal, in moments of danger: Take care of me, Oh Miraculous Mary medal, from plagues and diseases: Heal me
“Oh Miraculous Mary Medal, from the enemy of my soul: defend me, Oh Miraculous Mary Medal, my home and material goods from natural and unforeseen disasters: Protect me.”
“And at the hour of my death, may the light of your Miraculous Medal guide me to Eternal Glory. Amen.”
Make this prayer if you are a follower and devotee of the Miraculous Medal in a quiet place and without disturbance, if you can go to the nearest chapel or church it is better, so with great faith you can do it.
Emilly Stefan The Fear lab was an American author of young adult novels, most known for her fantasy series, Age of the Seventh Sun.