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Rue du Bac, France (1830)

   
History

Traditionally Approved

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1200 - 1299 1700 - 1799
1300 - 1399 1800 - 1899

Vatican Approved
Bishop Approved
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Approved for Faith Expression
Apparitions to Saints
Unapproved Apparitions

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

       
  Our Lady of Guadalupe  
       

Photo Gallery

Click here to view images from Rue du Bac.

Timeline

May 2, 1806

Catherine Laboure is born the ninth of eleven children at Fain-les-Moûtiers (near Dijon), Côte d'Or, France. She was baptized Zoë Labouré, daughter of a yeoman farmer.

1815

Catherine's mother dies. Her elder sister, Louisa, joins the Sisters of Charity.

1824

Catherine attends finishing school in Paris despite feeling a call to the religious life.

Jan 1830

Admitted to the Sisters of Charity at Châtillon-sur-Seine

April 1830

Sent to the Novitiate; After her postulancy, she went to a convent in the rue du Bac, Paris. She arrived several days before the translation of relics of Saint Vincent from Notre Dame to the Lazarist Church in rue de Sèvres. Starts to see visions of St. Vincent de Paul and Jesus.

July 18, 1830

First Apparition of Mary. She was awakened about 11:30 p.m. on July 18 by a "shining child," who led her to the chapel. Our Lady appeared and talked with her for hours, telling her that she would have to undertake a difficult task.

Nov 27, 1830

Second Apparition of Mary. Mary appeared in the same chapel in the form of a picture, standing on a globe, with shafts of light streaming from her hands, surrounded by the words Ô Marie, conçue sans péché, priez pour nous qui avons recours à vous ( "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!") The picture turned around, and on the reverse side appeared a capital M with a cross above it and two hearts, one thorn-crowned and one pierced with a sword, beneath. Catherine heard a voice asking her to have a medal struck, promising that all who wore the medal would receive great graces.Thus the design for Miraculous Medal revealed.

"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."

"This globe which you see is the world, France in particular and for every person living in it. I am praying for it and for everyone in the world. The rays which shed on the globe from my hands are the graces which I bestow for all those who ask for them. But there are no rays that come from some of the gems (from my fingers) because those are the graces which God wishes to bestow on them but they forget to ask..."

May 1831

Catherine confided in her confessor, Father Aladel, and he, convinced of her sincerity, persuaded Archbishop de Quélen of Paris to give permission for a medal to be struck.

1832

After her year of extraordinary grace, Catherine was sent to the convent Enghien-Reuilly on the outskirts of Paris. There Catherine served as portress until her death, engaging in menial tasks such as looking after the poultry and overseeing the aged living in the Hospice d'Enghien.

June 1832

The first 1,500 of the millions of medals to be made-now known to Catholics as the 'Miraculous Medal'-were struck.

1832 &1833

50 thousand medals given out

1836

The archbishop initiated an official canonical inquiry into the alleged visions. Catherine refused to appear, wishing her identity to be kept a secret. Fr. Aladel pleaded to be allowed to keep her name anonymous. The tribunal, basing its opinion on the stability of her confessor and Catherine's character, decided to favor the authenticity of the visions.

Approved as authentic by Archbishop de Quelen of Paris.

1842

The popularity of the medal grew, especially after the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne in 1842. Alphonse was an Alsatian Jew who, having been persuaded to wear the medal received a vision of Our Lady in the church of Sant'Andrea delle Frate at Rome, became a priest, and founded the religious congregation known as the Fathers and Sisters of Zion.

1876

Not until a few months before her death did she speak to anyone about the visions except her confessor; Catherine reveals her identity as the visionary and encourages construction of “Virgin of the Globe” statue. She confided in her superior, Sister Dufé.

Dec 31, 1876

Catherine dies. Her incorrupt body remains in the convent chapel at the rue du Bac, where miracles were reported at her tomb.

July 19, 1931

Catherine was declated venerable by Pope Pius XI (decree of heroic virtues).

May 28, 1933

Catherine is beatified by Pope Pius XI.

July 27, 1947

Catherine is canonized by Pope Pius XII.

 


Description of the Virgin


"The Virgin was standing. She was of medium height, and clothed in all white. Her dress was of the whiteness of dawn, made in the style called a la Vierge, that is, high neck and plain sleeves. A white veil covered her head and and fell on either side of her feet. Under the veil her hair, in coils, was bound with a fillet ornamented with lace, about three centimeters in height or of two fingers' breadth, without pleats, and resting lightly on the hair. Her face was sufficiently exposed, indeed exposed very well, and so beautiful that it seems to me impossible to express her ravishing beauty."

Messages

The Virgin appeared twice – July 18 and November 30, 1870.

Click here to read messages.


Prophecies


By 1870, forty years after the first apparition, all the prophecies given at the time were fulfilled:

“There will be bad times to come. Misfortunes will come crashing down on France. The throne will be overturned.”

The" throne” of King Charles X was “overturned” in the end of the year 1830;

"The Cross will be treated with contempt, they will hurl it to the ground and trample it. Blood will flow. The streets will run with blood."

Riots broke out all over Paris and Churches were desecrated.

“There will be victims among the clergy of Paris; Monsignor the Archbishop will die.”

The Archbishop Msgr. Darboy (1871) and two subsequent of Paris were murdered during this period.

“Monseigneur the Archbishop will be stripped of his garments.”

The Archbishop was beaten and stripped of his clothes.

“There will be great danger, for this, the [novitiate] and other communities. At one moment when the danger is acute, everyone will believe all to be lost ; you will recall my visit and the [novitiate] will have the protection of God. But it will not be the same for other communities.”

Some of the buildings housing religious communities were burned down; although threatened by angry crowds, the building housing the Sisters of Charity at the Rue du Bac went unharmed.


Miracles


Her incorrupt body remains in the convent chapel at the rue du Bac, where miracles were reported at her tomb.

St Catherine Laboure


Church Approval


In 1836, the Archbishop de Quelen of Paris initiated an official canonical inquiry into the alleged visions. Catherine refused to appear, wishing her identity to be kept a secret. Fr. Aladel pleaded to be allowed to keep her name anonymous. The tribunal, basing its opinion on the stability of her confessor and Catherine's character, decided to favor the authenticity of the visions.The apparitions were approved as authentic by the Archbishop.

The Feast Day fo St. Catherine Laboure is November 28 (it was formerly celebrated on December 31).

Design of the Medal

According to the verbal process of the investigation on February 16, 1836 the medal is supposed to be oval in shape It also says the words, "O Mary! conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!" start at Mary's right hand, continue over her head, and end at the left hand

According to the account written by Catherine's own hand Mary was clothed in a robe of auroral light and her robe had a high neck and plain sleeves. According to her own hand the medal should also have half a globe upon which Mary's feet rest, hands raised up to her waist, fingers filled with diamond rings of different sizes giving off rays of light, and a frame slightly oval with golden letters saying, "O Mary! conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!" She also added that some of the diamonds did not give off rays. Her fingers each had three rings and the largest stones emitted the most brilliant rays

Source: Aladel, M. (1999). The Miraculous Medal. Albany, New York: Preserving Christian Publications, Inc.. pp. 49-51.

Prayer

Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, we unite ourselves to thee under thy title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. May this medal be for each one of us a sure sign of thy motherly affection for us, and a constant reminder of our filial duties to thee. While wearing it, may we be blessed by thy loving protection and preserved in the grace of thy Son. Most powerful Virgin, Mother of our Savior, keep us close to thee at every moment of our lives so that, like thee, we may live and act according to the teaching and example of thy Son. Obtain for us, thy children, the grace of a happy death, so that in union with thee, we may enjoy the happiness of Heaven forever. Amen.


Prayer to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal


Immaculate Virgin Mary, we honor you,
blessed from the moment of your conception
with the fullness of God's redeeming grace.
You grew in faith and in love for God
as you made the choice
each moment of your life
to allow God to be God in your life.
In calling us to the altar,
as you did St. Catherine Laboure,
you show us where to find redeeming grace.
Lead us, in your spirit of faith, hope and love
to the altar of Eucharistic Celebration
as we receive your Jesus
and say "yes" to all He asks of us.

Mary Immaculate, this beautiful chapel
was erected out of love for you
by the Fathers and Brothers
of the Congregation of the Mission,
the Daughters of Charity.



Dear Christ, You Who so fully completed Your mission, Who did so with such strength, and Who guided St. Catherine to do the same, send the Virgin Mary into our lives to guide as to our own missions. Send the Blessed Mother so that we may make use of every minute that we are on this earth. Send Your mother so that upon death we may be pleasing to You, dear Lord, and have the joy of knowing we accomplished what was assigned to us at birth.

Pray for us, St. Catherine, that we may have our eyes opened to the missions given us by our Creator, and that we may approach life in imitation of your quietness, servitude, and longsuffering. Please, Catherine, help us with a deeper devotion to the Virgin Mary and specifically to the Miraculous Medal. Ask that God grant yet greater graces in our lives as a result of this devotion, and let us too `see' the resplendent lights, the radiant grace, that Jesus gives through the hands of His most holy and Blessed Mother.

Oh Mary, conceived without sin, wash away our sins and pray for our humility, for our purity, and for the fulfillment of our life work for God the Father! Let us accept what is sent our way and realize God's hidden designs in all challenges and sufferings!

Let us pray (response: pray for us):

Oh Mary, conceived without sin,

Oh Mary, streaming grace,

Oh Mary, who steps on the serpent,

Oh Mary, who stands on the world,

Oh Mary, who grants small and great gifts,

Oh Mary, who helped save France,

Oh Mary, of the Miraculous medal,

PRAY FOR US

Act of Consecration to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal:

O Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, we dedicate and consecrate ourselves to thee under the title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. May this medal be for each one of us a sure sign of thy affection for us and a constant reminder of our duties towards thee. Ever while wearing it, may we be blessed by thy loving protection and preserved in the grace of thy Son. O most powerful Virgin, Mother of Our Savior, keep us close to thee every moment of our lives. Obtain for us, thy children, the grace of a happy death; so that, in union with thee, we may enjoy the bliss of heaven forever. Amen.




Books

Chieriotti, Luigi. Les apparitions de la Medaille Miraculeuse. Montsura (France): Editions Resaic, 1988.

Englebert, Omer. Catherine Laboure and the modern apparitions of Our Lady. New York: Kennedy, 1959.

Waters , Alma Powers. St. Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal. Ignatius Press (February 2000)

Ball, Ann, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 0-87973-910-X page 356

Miravalle, Mark. 1993, Introduction to Mary ISBN 978-1-882972-06-7, pages 190-191

Catholic encyclopedia: "Miraculous Medal"

McMenamin, M. 2010. Precisely dated early versions of the Miraculous Medal. Numismatics International Bulletin, v. 45, nos. 3/4, p. 43-48.

Mack, John (2003). The museum of the mind: art and memory in world cultures. British Museum.

Glass, Joseph, "Miraculous Medal". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. Accessed 2011-05-20.


Links

Miraculous Medal Shrine- Philadelphia, PA

Central Association of the Miraculous Medal - Philadelphia, PA


Free Miraculous Medal

Association of the Miraculous Medal

International Site of the Daughters of Charity


Shrines

Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal - Official Website

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.


National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal - Church of St. Mary's of the Barrens (Perryville, MO, USA)

 
   
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