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Which saint rested her hands in the lap of Our Lady?

On a summer night in Paris in 1830, a radiant child awakened Sister Catherine Labouré and led her to the convent chapel to see a special visitor.

It was this chapel that Our Lady entered, her skirts rustling, to speak to Sister Catherine, a novice with the Daughters of Charity. Mary sat down near the altar. The young sister knelt beside her, placing her hands in the lap of her Mother as her loving and trusting child. St. Catherine later described it as the sweetest moment of her life.

She had long held a tender devotion to her Blessed Mother, having lost her earthly mother at the age of nine. When her mother died, Catherine had said to Our Lady, “Now, you will be my Mother.”

On this holy night in 1830, seeing her heavenly Mother face-to-face, Catherine conversed with her for two hours. Our Lady told her that God had a great mission He wished her to carry out.

Four months afterward, Our Lady appeared again, radiant and splendid, “in all her perfect beauty,” as St. Catherine described her. She had come to reveal to Catherine the details of her mission.

In this vision, the Blessed Mother stood atop a globe, the serpent crushed under her feet, holding a golden ball in her hands that she seemed to be offering to God. Our Lady revealed that the ball represented the whole world, France, and each individual soul.

Dazzling rays of light shone from rings on her fingers. She stretched out her arms and the luminous rays cascaded over the world, representing the graces she wished to give to mankind. Some rings did not send forth rays; these, said Our Lady, were the graces for which souls did not ask. Around her appeared the words:

O Mary, Conceived Without Sin, Pray for Us Who Have Recourse To Thee.

The vision rotated, and St. Catherine saw what would be the reverse of the medal: the letter “M” interwoven with a bar and a cross, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary underneath, and twelve stars surrounding all.

Our Lady asked that a medal be struck according to the image Catherine had just seen.

“All who wear it will receive great graces; they should wear it around the neck,” she said. “Graces will abound for persons who wear it with confidence.”

St. Catherine obeyed, and now the Miraculous Medal—which gained its name from the miracles associated with it—is worn by Our Lady’s faithful children all over the world. You, too, can take up Our Lady’s call to wear her medal. The Catholic Company offers a wide selection of beautiful Miraculous Medals to choose from, including this sterling silver medal with a beautiful rose-gold border. Order yours today!

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