Q. 1. What can you tell me about the Miraculous Medal?
A. 1. The Miraculous Medal is one of the three Marian Sacramentals that are recognized by the Catholic Church, they being the Rosary, the Scapular and the Miraculous Medal.
Its origin goes back to 1830 when Zoe Labore (known as Sister Catherine), a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, received three separate apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Paris. The apparitions were on July 18, November 27 and the last one a little later.
From the second apparition, we learn from Sister Catherine that the Virgin Mary appeared as if standing on a globe, and bearing a globe in her hands. As if from rings set with precious stones dazzling rays of light were emitted from her fingers. These, she said, were symbols of the graces which would be bestowed on all who asked for them. Sister Catherine adds that around the figure appeared an oval frame bearing in golden letters the words "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee"; on the back appeared the letter M, surmounted by a cross, with a crossbar beneath it, and under all the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the former surrounded by a crown of thorns, and the latter pierced by a sword.
During the last two apparitions, the Blessed Mother gave a command to have a medal struck after the model revealed, and a promise of great graces was made to those who wear it when blessed.
On June 30, 1832, the first medals were struck and with their distribution the devotion spread rapidly.
Since then, many miraculous cures have been associated with the Miraculous Medal by those who wore it.