Saturday, 28 November 2015

Saint Catherine Laboure -- Visionary of the Miraculous Medal

Introduction :

The Feast of Saint Catherine Laboure is on November 28th.

A most unforgettable impression of Paris is the Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal at 140 Rue Du Bac.

There you can gaze into the most beautiful blue eyes of a woman who kept a secret for forty six years : Catherine Laboure.

What was that secret ?? That she was the Nun to whom Mother Mary appeared, asking for a Medal to be struck and a statue to be sculpted.

The Fact that she rested her hands on the lap of the Blessed Mother during one of the many apparitions did not make her a saint; her sanctity consists of 50 years of faithful service as a "Daughter of Charity".

She personally worked no miracles, nor did she practice external heroic charity like Saint Martin De Porres.

She was not materially poor as were Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes and the children of Fatima; rather she sprang from upper middle - class parents from among the meadows and vineyards of Burgundy, France.

Her Father was an educated man and an excellent farmer living in the village of  Fain - Les - Moutiers, not far from the city of Dijon in France.

Catherine Laboure was born on May 2, 1806.

The Medal :

God chose Catherine Laboure  to usher in the "Marian Age".

During, one of the many apparitions -- the Blessed Mother asked Catherine Laboure  to have a Medal struck.

On one side, of the Medal there should be a huge Letter M with a cross above it. The Letter should rest on a bar, beneath which should appear two hearts.

On the other side of the Medal, there should be an inscription " O Mary conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recourse to thee".

The first heart, should be encircled by a crown of thorns and the second should be pierced by a sword.

The Letter "M" is for Mary and Mother since she is indeed the Mother of God's people -- a people founded on the twelve apostles, signified by the twelve stars arranged around the side.

The two hearts are those of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary. God's message for Mary was one of suffering : A Sword will pierce your Heart -- just as the heart of her son would be pierced by a soldier's lance.

Catherine asked how she was to have the medal struck. Mother Mary replied that she was to go to her confessor : Father Jean Marie Aladel.

Father Aladel at first, did not believe Catherine; however after 2 years he finally went to the Archbishop of Paris who ordered 2,000 medals struck.

A Conversion wrought by the Miraculous Medal :

Alfonse Ratisbonne was a wealthy Jewish Lawyer and Banker of Strasbourg who hated Catholicism.

A Catholic Friend gave him a Miraculous Medal, daring him to wear it and say the Memorare.

Not long after, Ratisbonne went to the Church of Saint Andrea Della Fratte. At the front door; a menacing black dog met him, but vanished soon after.

Later, a brilliant light emanated from the Guardian Angel Chapel and he saw Mother Mary as on the Miraculous Medal.

He was converted right there and begged for immediate baptism.

This request was not immediately granted, however after some instruction in the faith, the Jesuits baptized him at the Church of the Gesu in Rome, Italy.

After spending some time with the Jesuits, he joined the Congregation of Our Lady of Zion for the evangelization of the Jews.

For thirty years, he labored in the Holy Land as an intrepid missionary to his own kind.

With Mary once More :

On the 31st of December 1876, Catherine Laboure passed into the arms of Mary.

Today, her beautiful remains lie fresh and serene; her eyes are a brilliant blue and her arms and legs are supple; she does not seem dead.

The Miraculous Medal, challenges us to look at life again and accept the protection and encouragement offered to us by the Mother of Jesus Christ.

Conclusion :

On May 28, 1933 Pope Pius, the 12th beatified Catherine Laboure.

Her incorrupt body is now encased in glass beneath the side altar at 140 Rue Du Bac, Paris beneath one of the places where Our Lady appeared to her.

Her Marvelous Blue Eyes, attract visitors from every corner of the globe.

Pope Paul, The Sixth had to say the following about the Miraculous Medal :

"The Miraculous Medal is no good -luck charm. It is a reminder that Our Lady is a sure hope for those troubled in mind as they often are; divided in heart, and troubled about life itself.

Credits and References :

Most Beautiful Blue Eyes
By Father Harold Rahm S.J.
Pages 2-16
Saint Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal
Published by Our Lady's Workers
Sunder Nagar, Kalina - Mumbai, India

Note : My Friends, you who are faithful readers of my Blog -- I encourage you to go to 140, Rue Du Bac to the Shrine - Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and receive untold graces from Mother Mary.



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