The Miraculous Medal came about as a result of an apparition of Our Lady on November 27, 1830. It came through a humble novice, Sister Catherine Laboure, in the course of a vision in which Our Lady appeared to her and asked her to have a medal made. On the front of the medal, was to be a representation of herself as she appeared to the Sister on this day. The back was to carry, among other things, a picture of two hearts, the Sacred Heart with a crown of thorns around it and the Heart of Mary pierced by a sword.
Here is a description of the main features of the vision, reported in the Sister's own words:
' Her feet rested on..a half-ball. There was also a serpent of greenish colour with yellow splotches. Her hands,...in a gesture of offering to God, held a ball of gold surmounted by a small cross of gold, that represented the globe.'
'She said, 'Have a medal struck according to this model. All who wear it shall receive great graces, if they wear it around their neck.'
Holy water is used in our baptism and it has great powers to deter devils. The Lord said come to the fountain all of you who are thirsty, and when His heart was pierced there flowed blood and water.
Water is used for washing and for purifying, when it is blessed it works likewise but also in a spiritual manner.
Holy water is a sacramental that remits venial sin.
Because of the blessing attached to it, Holy Church strongly urges it's use upon Her
children, especially when dangers threaten, such as fire, storms, sickness, discord and
other calamities. Every Catholic home should always have a supply of Holy Water. Did we
realise now, as we shall after death, the many benefits which may be derived from Holy
Water, we would use it far more frequently, and with greater faith and reverence.
Holy Water has its great power and efficacy from the prayers of the Church. Following, are some of the petitions the priest makes to God when he blesses water: "O God... grant that this creature of Thine (water) may be endowed with divine grace to drive away devils and to cast out diseases, that whatever in the houses or possessions of the faithful may be sprinkled by this water, so that health which they seek by calling upon Thy Holy Name may be guarded from all assaults."
The devil hates holy water because of its power over him. He cannot long abide in a place or near a person that is often sprinkled with blessed water.
Holy Water, sprinkled with faith and piety, can move the Sacred Heart to bless your loved ones, present or absent, and protect them from all harm of soul and body. When worry and fear take possession of you, give your dear ones the benefit of the Church's prayer.
Only in Purgatory can one understand how ardently a poor soul longs for Holy Water. If we desire to make a host or intercessors for ourselves, let us never forget them at the Holy Water font. The holy souls nearest to Heaven may need the sprinkling of only one drop to release them.
St. Benedict's medal
This medal is known to receive a blessing from priests so that it can deter the powers of evil as in storms, poisons, pestilence, legions of demons, etc. When you use this medal you call upon the intercession of St. Benedict.
It has been the custom to place this medal or the miraculous medal around the house to encircle it with heavenly protection.
We must understand that medals, scapulars, holy water and any other type of sacramentals are not amulets for our protection but they indeed help when the wearer invokes the saints and tries to live a life of virtue.
What the Catechism says about sacramentals:
1674 Besides sacramental liturgy and sacramentals, catechesis must take into account the forms of piety and popular devotions among the faithful. The religious sense of the Christian people has always found expression in various forms of piety surrounding the Church's sacramental life, such as the veneration of relics, visits to sanctuaries, pilgrimages, processions, the stations of the cross, religious dances, the rosary, medals, etc.
The Work of God - Sacramentals