The Miraculous Medal
Daughters of the Immaculata
We are familiar with the apparitions of Our Lady to St. Catherine Labouré at Rue du Bac in Paris, but we would like to pause to look at the medal itself:
On the front face of the medal Our Lady is pictured with hands extended from which stream rays of light. The inscription on the outside of the medal reads, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.” On the reverse the letter M is intersected by a bar upon which a cross rests in the center. Below, the two hearts: Our Lord’s flaming heart of love is encircled by a crown of thorns, and Our Lady’s heart is trans-pierced by a sword. The other side of the medal has twelve stars interspersed at equal intervals.
The front side shows Our Lady standing, crushing the head of the serpent with Her heel. The words “conceived without sin” proclaim the primary mystery. Thus the Immaculate Conception symbolizes the triumph over Satan by She Who has never been under his influence.
The second prerogative manifested is that of the efficacious intercession of Our Lady. St. Catherine beheld Her in an attitude of prayer where She holds in Her hands and presses close to Her heart a globe, soliciting divine mercy for the whole world, and then again with Her extended hands laden with graces, inviting all to approach with confidence to this treasure house of wealth.
The M and the two hearts say enough. His Holiness Pope St. Pius X, on the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception stated: “There existed between Jesus and His Mother so intimate a union of life and suffering that the words of the Prophet are applicable to both: ‘My life is wasted with grief and my years with sighs.’ The Virgin stood at the foot of the cross stricken, doubtless, with the awful spectacle, still happy inasmuch as Her Divine Son was immolating Himself for the human race, sharing His torments withal to such an extent that if the thing were possible, She would have infinitely preferred to suffer in His stead.”