In 1830, at the Headquarters of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, in Paris, France, the Most Holy Virgin appeared in three opportunities to a humble and pious novice, Sister Catherine Labouré. On the three opportunities, Catherine saw the Most Holy Virgin, received messages, and was treated with loving and maternal attention.
FIRST APPARITION: The seer of the Most Holy Virgin told her confessor that towards 11:30 p.m. on the evening of July 18, someone called her by her name: "Sister Labouré, Sister Labouré, in the chapel. The Most Holy Virgin awaits you.”
A little boy was calling her, and he led her to the chapel.
Catherine started praying, and heard a noise similar to the rustle of a silk dress, and saw the Most Holy Virgin seated next to the Altar. Catherine went towards Her, fell on her knees supporting with her hands on the knees of the Most Holy Virgin and heard a voice say to her: “My daughter, God wants to entrust you with a mission; it will be hard for you, you will undergo a lot of sorrow, but you will overcome everything for the glory of God. You will be contradicted, but will have graces. Do not be afraid.”
The Most Holy Virgin sat at the foot of the altar, and recommended to Sister Catherine to go there when she felt anguish to relieve her sorrows, because there abundant graces are dispenses to those that request them confidently and humbly.
SECOND APPARITION: This is apparition where the Most Holy Virgin communicates to Sister Catherine the message that She wants to transmit. This apparition has three different moments:
Sister Catherine said to her confessor that at the time of prayer towards 5:30 p.m. the afternoon of November 27, she again heard the familiar noise of the rubbing of the silk and saw the Most Holy Virgin.
First moment (the Virgin of the globe): The Most Holy Virgin was standing on a globe squashing with her feet a serpent. She was dressed in a silk dress with long sleeves and high neck, and a veil covered her head, falling to both of her sides. In her hands, she was holding a small globe with a small cross in the upper part. The Most Holy Virgin offers this globe to the Lord with pleading tone. Her fingers are covered with rings with precious stones, some of which give off light and some do not. The Most Holy Virgin lowered her eyes and Sister Catherine heard: "This globe that you see represents the world and each individual. The light rays are the symbol of graces that I obtain for those that request them. The stones that do not give out rays of light are graces that are not requested from me”. The globe disappeared.
Second moment (Obverse of the medal): When the globe disappeared the hands of the Most Holy Virgin extended toward the Earth, shining light towards the Earth, the light beams, not allowing her feet to be seen. An oval shape formed around the Most Holy Virgin and in a semicircle beginning at the height of the right hand, circling over the head of the Most Holy Virgin and finishing at the height of the left hand, could be read:
OH MARY, CONCEIVED WITHOUT SIN, PRAY FOR US WHO HAVE RECOURSE TO THEE.
Sister Catherine heard a voice that said: "Have a medal struck according to this model, the people that wear it around their neck will receive great graces: the graces will be abundant for those who wear it with confidence.
Third moment (Reverse of the medal): The picture turned around showing the letter M, crowned with a cross supported on a bar and underneath letter M, the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary that Catherine distinguished because one was crowned of thorns and the other pierced by a sword. Around the monogram there were twelve stars.
THIRD APPARITION: In December of the same year, Sister Catherine was favored with a new apparition, similar to the one of November 27, and again was shown to her by the Most Holy Virgin. The Most Holy Virgin wanted that her seer had very clear the significances of her apparition, thus insisting that the small globe in her hands represents the world and every one, and the rays coming from the stones on the rings of her fingers are the graces that she obtains for those that request them, and the stones with no rays, represent graces that are not requested, and that the altar is where all should go to seek relief of their sorrows.
After Sister Catherine overcame all the obstacles and contradictions that the Most Holy Virgin had predicted to her, in 1832 the ecclesiastic authorities approved the striking of the medal. Once the medal was struck, its diffusion was evident.
They were so many and so abundant the miracles obtained through her, that it was called the MEDAL that cures, the MEDAL that saves, the MEDAL that works miracles, and finally THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL.
PLEA TO THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL
It is recited at 5 in the afternoon, on November 27, feast of the Celebration of the Miraculous Medal, and in the urgent necessities, any day at that hour.
Oh Immaculate Virgin, we know that You are always and everywhere ready to listen to the prayers of your children exiled in this valley of tears, but we also know that you have days and hours when you are delighted to scatter the treasures of your graces. And here we are, in front of you, at this blessed day and hour, by You chosen to acknowledge your Medal. We come to You, full of immense gratitude and limitless confidence in this hour by You beloved, to thank you for the great gift that you have made us by giving us your image, so that it is for us a token of protection and affection. We you that according to your wishes, the holy medal will be for us a sign of your presence with us, it will be our book where we will learn your love for us, and that all the sacrifices that you and your Divine Son have done for us will not be in vain. Your pierced heart, as it appears in the Medal, will always be able to rest on ours, and will beat in tandem with Your Immaculate Heart. Our heart will be on fire for love to Jesus, and will be fortified to carry the cross every day.
This is your hour, oh Mary, the hour of the your inexhaustible kindness, of your triumphant mercy, the hour in which you made appear, by means of your Medal, that torrent of graces and prodigies to flood the earth. Oh, Mother, that this hour that reminds you the sweet commotion of Your Heart that was moved to come and visit us to bring to us the remedy for so many evils, let this hour be also our hour, the hour of our sincere conversion and the hour in which our vows are heard in full.
You have promised exactly at this lucky hour, that abundant graces will go to those that request them with confidence: turn your benign glance towards us.
We confess to you not to deserve your graces, but, who could we resort to other than you, that are our Mother, in whose hands God has put all His graces? Then have mercy of us. We ask you in the name of your Immaculate Conception and the love that moved You to give us your precious Medal. Oh Consoling Mother of the afflicted, which were already touched by our miseries, watch the evils that oppress us.
Please allow your Medal to spill, on us and on all our beloved, your beneficial rays: heal the sick, bring peace to our families, and deliver us from all evil. May your Medal comfort those who suffer, consolation to those who cry, light and strength to all. We especially request for the conversion of sinners, particularly those that are closest to us. Remember that you have suffered, prayed, and cried for them. Heal us, oh Refuge of sinners, so that after having loved you, invoked you and served you on earth, we can go to thank and praise in Heaven. Amen