(Image used with permission of the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives)
November 27 marks the first of three special feast days for the Company of the Daughters of Charity: the Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. From July to November 1830, Catherine Laboure, then a Seminary Sister (novice) of the Daughters of Charity, was visited several times by Our Lady at the Mother House of the Daughters of Charity in Paris. During the apparition of November 27, 1830, Catherine saw Our Lady standing on a globe, with rays of light streaming from her outstretched hands. Framing the figure was an inscription: “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” Then Mary spoke to Catherine: “Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck.” The vision then turned to show the reverse of the Medal: the letter M surmounted by a cross with a bar at its base; below this monogram, the Sacred Heart of Jesus crowned with thorns, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced with a sword.
With approval of the Catholic Church, the first medals were made in 1832 and were distributed in Paris. The medal quickly became a popular devotion, popularly known as the “Miraculous Medal” because of the many graces and blessings that were connected with the wearing of the medal.
The painting seen here, showing the reverse of the medal, will be on display in the Provincial Archives through December 31, as part of our exhibit: “Oh Mary Conceived Without Sin”.
November 28 is the feast of Catherine Laboure. Catherine will be the subject of our November 28 post.