Do you know the full meaning and history behind the most famous of all Catholic medals, the Miraculous Medal?
Located in Paris, France is the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. This chapel is the actual location where Our Lady appeared to St. Catherine Laboure and requested that a medal be struck with her image surrounded by the words, "O Mary, Conceived Without Sin, Pray for Us Who Have Recourse to Thee".
This is where Mary took on the new title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, which is closely related to the Immaculate Conception feast day on December 8th.
The Miraculous Medal truly has a fascinating history which you can read about here, including Our Lady's promise to those who wear her medal. In fact, the medal was named "Miraculous" due to the many miracles and graces Our Lady gave to its wearers, just as she promised.
Here is a little virtual tour of the holy site. Below is an image of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Paris with small numbers marking the significant spots inside the church. Listed below is what is located at each number.
1) Bottom left of the altar near the bottom of the photo: This is the exact spot of the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Catherine Laboure on July 18-19, 1830. At that time July 19 was the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul. On the eve of the feast day Sister Laboure asked for St. Vincent de Paul's intercession that she might see the Blessed Virgin Mary. At 11:30pm she was awoken by her guardian angel who told her to go to the chapel. After thirty minutes of praying, she saw the Blessed Virgin Mary sitting on the priest's chair. St. Catherine knelt before Mary, placed her hands in Our Lady's lap, and a two-hour conversation ensued.
2) Statue to the right of the altar: This is a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a golden globe in her hands. This is the exact spot where the Miraculous Medal was revealed in a vision to St. Catherine on November 27, 1830.
3) To the left of the altar: This is the shrine of St. Louise de Marillac, co-foundress with St. Vincent de Paul of the Daughters of Charity, the religious order to which Sister Catherine Laboure belonged.
4) Above the altar: Another apparition location where Our Lady revealed herself to St. Catherine for the third time in December of 1830.
5) Wall fresco surrounding the altar: This is the fresco depicting the apparition that occurred in this chapel on July 18, 1830 (mentioned in #1).
6) Near bottom right of image: This is the body of St. Catherine Laboure kept in a glass case near the altar.
7) To the far right of the altar: This is the reliquary containing the heart of St. Vincent de Paul, through whose intercession Our Lady appeared to St. Catherine Laboure.
If you don't wear a Miraculous Medal, you should! Our Lady not only personally designed this medal and requested its production and promotion, but she also requested that it be worn around the neck. Many graces are promised and given to those who wear it with faith in their hearts. November 27th, the date of the apparition of the medal, is the feast day of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal for the universal Church.
Have you been blessed by wearing the Miraculous Medal? Do you have any stories to share with our readers?
A VIDEO TOUR OF THE CHAPEL
This article has been updated and was originally published in November of 2012. © The Catholic Company. All rights reserved.