November 27

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Catholic Church

This optional memorial on the Catholic calendar commemorates the apparition to St. Catherine Labouré on November 27, 1830. Then a novice of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, the young woman saw the Holy Virgin in glowing white, standing on a partial sphere, gazing heavenwards, holding up a gold globe as in offering to God. Words formed in an oval around her: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you." The image turned around to reveal a cross atop a bar interlacing a letter M, with two hearts beneath.  The Virgin spoke: "Have a medal struck after this model; everyone who wears it will receive great graces..." On June 30, 1832, Aurélien Vachette delivered the first 1500 medals, commissioned by the the seer's spiritual director and approved by the Archbishop. Vachette took some artistic license, basing his composition partly on the anonymous Sister's vision and partly on current iconographical practice. As Catherine reported, rays came from Mary's hands, but here the hands were empty, held out at her sides. A snake appeared under her feet, and below, the date 1830. On the reverse, where Catherine quoted the Virgin as saying, "The M and the two hearts are enough," Vachette added the 12 stars of Revelation 12:1 encircling the whole. Despite these innovations, Sister Catherine approved the new Immaculate Conception medal, soon known as the Miraculous Medal for the many blessings it delivered as it spread rapidly through France, Europe, and the world. It is still one of the most beloved and widespread sacramentals (grace-bearing objects) of Catholic believers. (Picture of original 1832 medal from www.marie-or.fr.)   

Also commemorated this date:

bulletMadre de los Emigrantes, Buenos Aires, Argentina. First stone of sanctuary placed, 1966. Fiesta last Sunday in November.
bulletNossa Senhora das Graças, Fortaleza, Ceará, Northeast, Brazil
bulletNossa Senhora das Graças, Maceió, Alagoas, Northeast, Brazil. Patron of Alagoas State.
bulletUnserer Lieben Frau, Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. "Hosanna" bell of 1258 rings to commemorate bombardment of 1944, which cathedral survived.
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly