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Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal


Rue du Bac, Paris, November 1830

On Saturday, November 27th, 1830, the vigil of the First Sunday of Advent, at 5.30 pm, Sr. Catherine Labouré with the other sisters retired to the Chapel of the Convent of the Rue du Bac, Paris, for evening meditation. She heard the faint rustle of a silk dress. Catherine did not have to move. Raising her eyes to the right of the main altar, she saw a beautiful Lady, surrounded by light, standing on a half globe of the world. Her feet were crushing a serpent, and rays of light were streaming from her fingers - all 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.

The Virgin spoke, this time giving a direct order: "Have a medal struck as I have shown you. All who wear it will receive great graces." In short, those who wear the medal, properly blessed, and repeat the prayer,
'O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee ', will be greatly blessed.

Catherine asked how she was to have the medal struck. Our Lady replied that she was to go to her confessor, Father Jean Marie Aladel. "He is my servant." Father Aladel at first did not believe Catherine. However, after two years, he finally went to the archbishop of Paris, who ordered two thousand medals to be struck on June 20th, 1832. A terrible epidemic of cholera had broken out in Paris, claiming many lives. Medals were distributed to the sick in hospitals and they recovered. "This medal is miraculous" the people exclaimed. It was God, of course. Originally it was known as the medal of the Immaculate Conception, but so many cures and miracles were attributed to it that it soon became known as the Miraculous Medal.


Saint Catherine Labouré,
you were the chosen confidant of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
She revealed to you her desire that her children wear the Miraculous Medal
as a mark of their love for her
and in honour of her Immaculate Conception.

Intercede for us,
that we may follow our heavenly mother's desires.
Ask that we may receive those special graces
which flow from her motherly hands like rays of light.

The story of Catherine Labouré

Blessing and Investiture