Q. 1. What is the purpose of Catholic medals?
A. 1. Catholic medals, also known as devotional medals, consist of a piece of metal, usually in the form of a two sided coin, struck or cast for a commemorative purpose, and adorned with some appropriate effigy, device, or inscription.
Some are produced to commemorate persons such as Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Saints. Others commemorate special places such as famous Shrines or past historical events such as dogmatic definitions, miracles or dedications. They may also commemorate the Sacraments, First Communion, Ordination, etc...
The faithful can pin medals to their clothes or wear them as a necklace. Medals are meant to help the wearer and serve as a constant reminder of the life and work of the chosen Saint. Many people turn to their chosen Saint for intercession in times of need. This source of inspiration helps the wearer always keep their faith in mind.
A very special medal is the Miraculous Medal that was first struck in 1832. This medal is also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception. Tradition has it that on July 18-19, 1830, the Blessed Virgin Mary visited Sister Catherine Labouré in Paris. She gave the Sister (now Sainted) a mission. She showed the sister a medal and said, "Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck."