The Many Sides of the Miraculous Medal
“Have a Medal struck on this model!All who wear it, will receive great graces.”
THE HISTORICAL SIDE
The Mother of God gave Catherine a mission and She revealed to Catherine the trials that she would undergo in its performance. On November 27, the Mother of God showed Catherine the design of a Medal that would remind the world of Her love and protection. Mary assured Catherine that she would receive all the strength and consolation necessary to bring this mission to a successful completion. Our Lady promised that all those who wear the Medal will not see eternal damnation.
For 46 years, Catherine lived an ordinary, obscure and laborious life as a Daughter of Charity and no one, except her confessor, knew that it was she who had received from Our Lady the request to have the Medal made and distributed. In their various apostolates, the Daughters of Charity and the Vincentian Fathers have since then publicized and promoted the Medal and its message to the world.
The two Hearts are those of Jesus and Mary. God’s message for Mary was one of suffering: ‘a sword will pierce your heart too’ just as the Heart of Her Son would be pierced by a soldier’s lance. The picture of the two Hearts is a reminder of God’s love for us: Mother and Son united in the work of Redemption. Christ offers Himself on the Cross and Mary stands by that Cross assenting in Faith so that the world might be saved.
The Medal, then, is a summary in itself of the Church’s teaching on Our Lady, as well as a personal message to each one of us: MARY IS OUR MOTHER, MEDIATRIX and CO-REDEMPTRIX.
The Spiritual Side
Here, in St. Catherine’s own words, is a description of the apparition of November 27, 1830, when Our Lady showed the Medal to her:
“Her feet rested on a white globe … I saw rings on Her fingers; each ring was set with gems, the larger gems emitted greater rays and the smaller gems, smaller rays. I could not express what I saw, the beauty and the brilliance of the dazzling rays; a frame formed round the Blessed Virgin. Within it were written in letters of gold, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” At this instant, the tableau seemed to turn and I beheld the reverse of the Medal: a large “M” surmounted by a bar and a Cross: beneath the “M” were the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the one crowned with thorns, the other with a pierced sword.
Then, a voice said to me: “Have a Medal struck after this model! All those who wear it, will receive great graces.”
When Saint Catherine related the vision to her confessor, Vincentian Father Jean-Marie Aladel, he asked her whether she had seen any writing on the back of the Medal. She answered that she had seen none at all.
“Ah,” he said. “Ask the Blessed Virgin what to put there.” The Sister obeyed and prayed to Mary a long time for this information. One day, during meditation, she seemed to hear a voice saying:
“The “M” and the two Hearts express enough.”
In 1832, the first Medals were made in accordance to Our Lady’s design. They were freely circulated and, in a short time, were worn by millions. Innumerable wonders followed: health was restored, bad habits broken, dangers averted until the little Medal of the Immaculate Conception soon became known by the name it bears today, the Miraculous Medal.
Interestingly, it was not until the year of her death in 1876, St. Catherine revealed that she had received the Medal from Mary. She had kept the secret for 46 years.
“In obedience to The Immaculate
Restore the FAMILY to CHRIST through the
IMMACULATE HEART of MARY!