The Miraculous Medal: The Story Behind this Special Marian Devotion
The Miraculous Medal is a powerful sacramental that is worn by millions of Catholics around the world and has many miracles attributed to it.
Are you familiar with the Miraculous Medal? It’s a powerful sacramental that is worn by millions of Catholics around the world and has many miracles attributed to it.
St. Maximilian Kolbe called it “our weapon with which to strike hearts” and “a bullet with which a faithful soldier hits the enemy, that is evil, and thus rescues souls.”
This devotion might just change your life.
The Miraculous Medal began with a series of apparitions of Mary to St. Catherine Labouré in Paris, France.
Close to Midnight on July 18, 1830, a young French Daughter of Charity novice awoke to a beautiful child bathed in a heavenly light. Catherine followed the child to the chapel where all the candles were lit. She heard a rustling
Our Lady appeared again on November 27, 1830; this time, however, Mary stood on a globe with her feet crushing the head of a serpent. She wore rings on her fingers from which dazzling rays of light beamed.
The Blessed Mother told Catherine that these rays symbolize the graces that she gives to all who ask for them and the stones on her ring that do not shed light represent the graces that people forget to ask for.
An oval then appeared around the Blessed Mother, with the words “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”
The image turned, revealing the design for the second side of the medal–the letter M, intersected at the top with a cross and a bar, along with the hearts of Jesus and Mary surrounded by twelve stars.
Mary instructed Catherine to have a medal made of this image and promised great graces to those who wear it. Indeed, there have been many stories of miraculous physical and spiritual healings through the intercession of the Blessed Mother by those who wear the medal.
This small medal is full of meaning and symbolism, and serves as a powerful reminder of the important role the Blessed Mother plays in the lives of the faithful:
The Immaculate Conception
The inscription on the medal affirms that Mary was as the Scripture says “Full of Grace” or conceived without the stain of original sin.
Pope Pius IX would declare this truth a dogma of the Church more than 20 years after Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure. This dogma emphasizes her ability to be a pure vessel for Christ and her ability to give a free and total yes when asked to be the Mother of God.
The Miraculous Medal helped pave the way for this dogma.
Mediatrix of Grace
The medal also illustrates Mary as the “Mediatrix of Grace.” Jesus, through the “Yes” of his Blessed Mother, became the mediator of our salvation so we recognize Mary as a conduit of grace for the Church on earth.
Through both the symbolic rays of light coming from her hands and the intertwined M and cross on the back, the medal reminds us of Mary’s role in our salvation and invites us to approach Jesus through Mary.
Queen of Heaven and Earth
The medal depicts Mary as standing on a globe and crushing the head of the serpent, making it clear that she reigns as Queen both in heaven and on earth.
The whole world falls under her mantle of protection. Through her Son, Mary has the power to vanquish the evil one and can protect us from spiritual harm. Her arms are open to embrace those who come to her.
Mary told St. Catherine Laboure that despite being a Mother who wants to help her children so many people never turn to her. Don’t make that mistake!
Invite the Blessed Mother into your life. Wear the Miraculous Medal as a reminder to pray its prayer: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”