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History - The Miraculous medal


On July 18, 1830, a 24 year old postulant of the Sisters of Charity on the rue du Bac in Paris, Catherine Laboure’, had a vision of Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception. On the eve of the feast of St. Vincent de Paul, Catherine deliberately swallowed a small piece of the saint's linen surplice before going to sleep. Later on that night, a child whom she saw to be an angel told her to go to the chapel. She quickly got dressed and walked through the dark corridors to the empty chapel that was brightly illuminated. Suddenly she heard the rustle of silk and saw Mary sitting in a chair by the altar. Upon seeing Mary, she rushed to her and placed her hands on Mary's knees. For two hours or so, Mary talked to Catherine about the Sisters of Charity and about the dangers that would soon befall France. The image of the Virgin then faded.


In the early evening of November 27, 1830, during the meditation period, the Virgin Mary appeared again to Catherine wearing a white silk robe, her head covered with a white veil that fell to her feet , standing on a globe. Her hands were lifted up holding a golden ball with a cross on top. On each of her fingers she had three rings, which emitted bright rays of light. Mary told Catherine the rays were the graces she gave to all who asked for them. A green serpent with yellow specks also lay stretched out nearby.

All of a sudden, an oval frame formed around the vision, and inside the frame was written in golden letters: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." The golden ball she had been holding disappeared, but Mary's arms remained outstretched with the rays of light still visible. Mary turned around and Catherine saw a large letter "M" surmounted by a cross resting upon a bar. Below the cross were two hearts, one circled with thorns and the other pierced with a sword. Mary told Catherine to have the medal struck in her honor according to the image she saw.