This is the most famous medal in the world that was shown by Virgin Mary to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830. As Mary ordered the make the medal, she promised that “Everyone wearing it, will be granted great graces. The graces will be rich for those who wear it with faith.”
The construction of the image
The medal depicts the scene revealed to St. Catherine: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception who is standing on earth and trampling the snake. In her hands she is holding a globe, around her inscription in golden letters “O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee”. The reverse of the medal depicts the letter “M” with a tiny cross placed above it and two hearts below: Sacred Heart of Jesus with a crown of thorns and the Heart of Blessed Mother, pierced by a sword.
Who ought to wear it?
St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, who died in Auschwitz, the creator of Militia Immaculatae, was one of the greatest propagators of the medal. He gave it to the believers and disbelievers and ordered everyone to do the following: “Her medal is to be given to everyone, give it to children, so that they can wear it always around their neck and to the elderly and especially to the youth, so that they will find power to fight off temptations and decoys of our times. And what concerns those who rarely enter the Church, who are afraid to confess, who sneer at religious practices and the truths of faith, who got stuck in their moral swamp or remain in heresy away from the Church – you have to absolutely give the medal to them so that they would consider wearing it and in the meantime you have to pray for their conversion. If someone shall decline the medal, there are people who find a way to cope with it. They simply sew the medal in the clothes of an individual in secret and pray. Mary sooner or later shows her true power… There is a lot of evil in the world but we have to remember that Mary is the most powerful and she will crush the head of the snake.”
The power of the Medal
The medal is a Sacramental, a holy sign which can bring its wearer spiritual effects via prayer and which “By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1667). The medal of St. Catherine is called “miraculous” around the world because it was the cause of several conversions and healings and it is a proof of Mary’s particular care for us.
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