May, month of Mary

Thursday, May 12, 2016

 May, month of Mary
Easter, Day 47

Earlier in May we commented about the apparitions of Our Lady in France in the 19th Century.  These followed the French Revolution (1789-1799) that brought about a far reaching period of  social and political upheaval in the world.

On July 18, 1830, Our Lady appeared to Catherine Laboure who was a novice in the community of the Daughters of Charity in Paris. Catherine was awakened by a child (her guardian angel?) and summoned to the chapel where she met with the Virgin Mary who spoke with her for several hours.  During the conversation Mary said to her, “My child, I am going to give you a mission.”  
Catherine had a second apparition on November 27. She saw Mary standing on what seemed to be a half a globe and, in her hands, she held a golden globe offering  it to heaven. The word France was on the globe and our Lady explained that “This globe which you see represents the whole world, especially France, and each person in particular.”  Then, an oval frame formed around Mary on which were written in golden letters “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee”  Mary then said to Catherine “Have a medal struck upon this model.  All those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces especially if they wear it round the neck. Those who repeat this prayer with devotion will be in a special manner under the protection of the Mother of God.  Graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.”   As Catherine was looking at the image, the oval frame seemed to turn around and she saw what was to be on the back of the medal:  “Then I saw on the back of it the letter 'M', surmounted by a cross, with a crossbar beneath it, and under the monogram of the name of Mary, the Holy Hearts of Jesus and of His Mother; the first surrounded by a crown of thorns and the second transpierced by a sword.”

With the authority of the bishop of Paris at that time,  and Catherine’s Spiritual Director, the medals got struck and began to be disseminated. By the time Catherine died in 1876, a billion medals had been distributed throughout the world.  At first, it was called the medal of the Immaculate Conception and later it was called the Miraculous Medal due to all of the miracles that occurred because of the prayers inspired by the medal. 

The first miracle recorded was by the bishop who approve the medal
“Immediately upon receiving them, he put one in his pocket and went to visit Monseigneur de Pradt, former chaplain to Napoleon and unlawful Archbishop of Mechlin who had accepted his office from the hands of the Emperor and now lay dying, defiant and unreconciled to the Church. The sick man refused to abjure his errors and the Bishop of Paris withdrew in defeat. He had not left the house when the dying man suddenly called him back, made his peace with the Church and gently passed away in the arms of the Archbishop, who was filled with a holy joy.”

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