The Miraculous medal
She was the ninth of eleven children born to a country family, very religious from her early age. She refused many offers of marriage saying that she had found her bridegroom the day she had received Holy Communion.
One day while visiting the sick at a Hospital run by the Sisters of Charity, she heard a voice coming from the picture of Saint Vincent the Paul. She heard " My child, it is a very beautiful thing to take care of the sick. God is asking something from you."
She became a nun and dedicated her life to serve Christ in the poor and sick.
On 18 July 1830 she had a vision of Our Lady who described to her a medal which she wished to be made. On one side it has the image of Our Lady, and the words, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee"; on the other are the hearts of Jesus and Mary. Our Lady told Catherine that wearers of the medal would receive great graces, it has become known as the Miraculous Medal, and its wearing and devotion has spread worldwide.
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."
Work of God Apostolate
Saint Catherine Laboure