The Miraculous Medal, also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, is a devotional medal that is associated with various Catholic traditions and beliefs. It is one of the most popular and widely recognized medals within the Catholic Church. The medal originated from the visions of Saint Catherine Labouré, a novice in the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, in 1830.
According to the accounts of Saint Catherine, the Virgin Mary appeared to her in a series of visions, the first of which occurred on July 18, 1830, in the convent chapel in Paris. During one of these visions, Mary instructed Saint Catherine to have a medal struck, and she provided a specific design for the medal.
The front of the medal features an image of the Virgin Mary standing on a globe, with rays of light streaming from her hands. The image is surrounded by the words “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” This phrase emphasizes the Immaculate Conception, a doctrine of the Catholic Church that teaches that Mary was conceived without original sin.
On the reverse side, there are several symbols, including the letter “M” with a cross and two hearts—one crowned with thorns (representing the Sacred Heart of Jesus) and the other pierced by a sword (symbolizing the Immaculate Heart of Mary). Surrounding these symbols are twelve stars representing the twelve apostles.
The Miraculous Medal is often associated with various miracles and graces, and many Catholics wear it as a sign of devotion and protection. The Catholic Church has officially approved and endorsed the Miraculous Medal, and it has become a cherished and widespread symbol of faith for many Catholics around the world.
In Malta, the devotion to the Miraculous Medal was greatly spread by Saint George Preca. He teaches us:
I have great confidence in the divine motherhood of Mary because it has too much power over the heart of God, which refuses nothing to what is asked of it. Those predestined to heaven are all linked to Mary with a spirit of true devotion. She is enthroned with Jesus Christ in heaven as queen, as mistress, and as mother.
If you still don’t have it, it’s good to have and even keep on you the Miraculous Medal, as Mary herself asked for through St Catherine Labouré. Do not forget that the most beautiful prayer that honors Holy Mary and the one that she requested us to pray, for our needs and for those of the whole world, is the beautiful prayer of the Holy Rosary.