Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Miraculous Medal

I hate following the trend so will ignore Advent Sunday this year! (in blogging at any rate!) 

On this day, Saint Catherine Labouré had a vision which led to that well known religious artefact, the Miraculous medal

On November 27, 1830, she had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary during her evening meditations. The Virgin appeared inside an oval frame, standing on a globe, wearing many rings of different colors, most of which shone rays of light over the globe. Around the margin of the frame appeared 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). As St Catherine watched, the frame seemed to rotate, showing a circle of twelve stars, a large letter M surmounted by a cross, and the stylized Sacred Heart of Jesus crowned with thorns and Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced with a sword. Asked why some of her rings did not shed light, Mary reportedly replied, "Those are the graces for which people forget to ask." Catherine then heard Mary ask her to take these images to her father confessor, telling him that they should be put on medallions, and saying "All who wear them will receive great graces."  Catherine did so, and after 2 years of investigation and observation of Catherine's normal daily behaviour, the priest took the information to the  archbishop without revealing Catherine's identity. The request was approved and medallions began to be produced. Those who wore the medal felt that they had received great blessings, and the medal came to be referred to as the "Miraculous Medal". They proved to be popular, and the medals spread worldwide.

The chapel in which Saint Catherine experienced her visions is located at the mother house of the Daughters of Charity in Paris. Her body lies in a glass coffin at the side altar of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, 140 Rue du Bac, Paris. The incorrupt bodies of Saint Catherine Labouré and Saint Louise de Marillac, a co-founder of the Daughters of Charity, are interred in the chapel, which continues to receive daily visits from Catholic pilgrims today.

File:Bac M Miraculeuse.Autel1.jpg

The chapel in Paris

Religious nick-nacks don't stir me much either way (but I happen to have a medal on a rosary somewhere) but the idea of the Mother of God continuing to pray for us as she did for the 1st disciples does.  A hymn puts it nicely:

Let us weave our supplications,
she with us and we with her,
for the advancement of the faithful,
for each faithful worshiper,
for the doubting, for the sinful,
for each heedless wanderer.
Hail Mary, hail Mary, hail Mary, full of grace.

May the Mother's intercessions
on our homes a blessing win,
that the children all be prospered,
strong and fair and pure within,
following our Lord's own footsteps,
firm in faith and free from sin.
Hail Mary, hail Mary, hail Mary, full of grace.

For the sick and the aged,
for our dear ones far away,
for the hearts that mourn in secret,
all who need our prayers today,
for the faithful gone before us,
may the holy Virgin pray.
Hail Mary, hail Mary, hail Mary, full of grace.

Praise, O Mary, praise the Father,
praise thy Savior and thy Son,
praise the everlasting Spirit,
who hath made thee ark and throne
o'er all creatures high exalted,
lowly praise the Three in One.
Hail Mary, hail Mary, hail Mary, full of grace.

Mother of God pray for us!

And it being the 1st Sunday of Advent, Alma Redemptoris Mater seems appropriate:

Loving Mother of our Savior, hear thou thy people's cry Star of the deep and Portal of the sky! Mother of Him who thee made from nothing made. Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid: Oh, by what joy which Gabriel brought to thee, Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.

V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary R. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.
Let us pray.
Pour forth we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may, by His passion and cross, be brought to the glory of his Resurrection; through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment