The Miraculous Medal is one of the best-known and most-loved sacramentals of the Catholic Church. The front of the Medal depicts the Blessed Virgin; the back displays her monogram with the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. This Medal has been called the Miraculous Medal for good reason, as it has been associated with miracles ever since it was first distributed. It was designed by the Blessed Virgin herself.
The history of the Miraculous Medal began in Paris, in the year 1830. At the convent of the Daughters of Charity, the Blessed Virgin appeared to novice Catherine Laboure and gave her the mission of distributing a medal of the exact design she was to see. The Blessed Virgin told St. Catherine that anyone who wore the Medal would receive great graces.
The Blessed Virgin stood upon a globe, representing the world, with her arms lowered. Rays of grace emanated from her hands and enveloped the globe with their radiance. The words O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee encircled the vision. Then, the vision seemed to turn and showed the letter M surmounted by a cross suspended over the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. These new symbols were framed by twelve stars representing the Blessed Virgin’s crown.
Catherine divulged the secret of this apparition to no one except her confessor, Fr. John Aladel. Two years later, with his help, the first medals were minted and the work of distribution began. The medals were in such high demand from the very beginning that they practically disappeared. The stories of the wonders and cures obtained through the Medal made it sought after all the more. By the time of St. Catherine’s death in 1876, over one billion medals had been minted and distributed. This sacramental was originally known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, but due to the wonders attributed to the Blessed Virgin’s intercession by the wearers of the Medal, the name Miraculous Medal was soon used almost exclusively.
The miracles, conversions, graces, and acts of protection attributed to the Miraculous Medal were as diverse as the people who wore it. A dying Monseigneur who was estranged from the Church was given a Medal and re-entered the church before he died. An atheist, a Jew, a blasphemer, and a murderer were all saved through the merits of this Medal. Many of the popes and saints have recommended it to the faithful.
Distribute Her Miraculous Medal, wherever possible. …So that under Her care they [the faithful] have enough strength to resist so many temptations and pitfalls lying in wait for them in our times.St. Maximilian Kolbe
With so many dangers to salvation in this life, it would be wise to follow the advice of St. Maximilian Kolbe. The Miraculous Medal is a powerful sacramental and has the potential to bring great graces into your life.
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, pray for us!