The medal above right, which, though widely known as the Miraculous Medal, is actually also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, was cast per the Blessed Virgin Mary's request in Phase II of her apparition to Saint Catherine Laboure on November 27, 1830 (three days before the death of Pope Pius VIII). We commemorate the feast of St. Catherine tomorrow, November 28.
The panel above in the headline depicts the first apparition when our Lady was seated at the foot of the altar after an angel called Catherine from her sleep to come and kneel and converse with Mary for two hours on the evening of July 18th which stretched into July 19th. This is readily recognized as the "Virgin of the Chair." (1st arch).
The second arch illustrates Catherine kneeling before our Lady during the second apparition 4 months later on November 27th. During this apparition, St. Catherine was given two visions. In the first Our Lady appeared hovering above the altar, clouds surrounding her and standing on the globe of the world, crushing the serpent's head. (2nd arch) In her hands she held a glowing golden ball - or globe - radiating as she offered it to the Heavenly Father. The glowing golden ball represents all of mankind's goodness, which, with eyes uplifted, she offers to the Father as Advocate for us. In return the Beatific Vision radiates His Divine Mercy upon His little ones through His Beloved Daughter Mary. For on her hands are rings which diffuse the powerful graces and mercy God gives to His faithful ones, depicted by rays cascading on the globe beneath from the gems on her fingers. Our Lady confirmed to Catherine, "These rays symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The gems from which rays do not fall are the graces for which souls forget to ask." It is a confirmation of her Divine Son Jesus' words in Matthew 7: 7 and Luke 11: 9, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you." It is also an affirmation that His Blessed Mother is the Advocate, Mediatrix and, working with her Divine Spouse the Holy Ghost in preparing for Christ's second coming, the Co-Redemptrix. It was in the first phase of the November 27th apparition where Our Lady conveyed the meaning of the "Virgin of the Globe" or "Virgin Most Powerful."
In the final arch of the center panel, (3rd arch) Our Lady appeared above the tabernacle, still standing on the world, still crushing the serpent's head. The glowing golden globe - our gift to God - was now gone and her hands outstretched as she was extending God's gift to us through the rays of Divine Mercy radiating outward and covering the earth. This is the image Mary has always conveyed of her Immaculate Conception and much the same manner she appeared to Saint Bernadette Soubirous twenty-eight years later. This third arch is the way Our Lady is depicted on the medal that came to be known as the Miraculous Medal, though that was not the title Mary requested. Rather she had requested it be called the Medal of the Immaculate Conception. This was twenty-four years before Blessed Pope Pius IX declared the Immaculate Conception a Dogma of the Church.
The Messenger of the Mission of Rue du Bac
Saint Catherine Laboure was the broom to help our Lady sweep souls up for her Divine Son Jesus. But just as Rue du Bac was the beginning of the Age of Marian Apparitions, we are now at the end of this special era of grace. The bookend, if you will to the Miraculous Medal - the Medal of the Immaculate Conception - is the the medal casted from the first phase of the apparition to Sister Laboure. That medal is pertinent and necessary for these times of battle. Satan is furious and has unleased all his legions. Mary could crush his head at any time and her Immaculate Heart would triumph as she prophesied at Fatima. However, it is the Father's Will that man play an integral role in redemption to gage man's sincerity and his commitment to answer His Blessed Mother's call.
In these times when absolutes are suppressed and truths twisted in favor of ambiguities, it is more vital than ever that the Truths of the Deposit of Faith are upheld and spoken from the rooftops. Six years before Catherine Laboure was born, Pope Pius VII declared in his Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius, "The doctrine of Faith that God has revealed, was not proposed to the minds of men as a philosophical discovery to be perfected, but as the divine deposit, entrusted to the Spouse of Christ that she might faithfully keep it and infallibly define it. Consequently, the meaning of the Sacred Dogmas which must always be preserved is that which our Holy Mother the Church has determined. Never is it permissable to depart from this in the name of a deeper understanding." (editor's emphasis). And six years before her death, Vatican I declared in the Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, "The Holy Ghost was promised to the successors of Peter, not that they might make known new doctrine by His Revelation but rather that, with His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully explain the Revelation or Deposit of Faith that was handed down through the Apostles." Christ says "speak Truth only"; Saint Paul tells Timothy, to "Keep the deposit, the deposit of Faith" (1 Timothy 6: 20).
In these times when ecumenism corrupts Truth and the deposit of Faith through compromise rather than conversion, in these times when moral aversion, antipathy, and apathy erode the foundation of holy Mother Church, our Lady is still our source for comfort and strength as given to us by God. All we need to do is ask. The Miraculous Medal or Medal of the Immaculate Conception depicting the Virgin of the Globe is an outward sign or symbol Heaven has imparted to aid the Church Militant.
The cup is filling up and will soon spill over and the hand of God's Justice is ready to strike. Yet, at the eleventh hour our Heavenly Mother begs her Divine Son to stay the Father's hand for just a little longer as she endeavors to save as many of her children as possible. For those who refuse her help, who refuse to follow God's Will and His laws, who seek to please man rather than God...she weeps and her tears, mixed with the blood of the martyrs - including the millions and millions of aborted babies - help purify their souls and soften the hearts of all her children who are willing.
To protect us from these cancerous times of immorality, corruption and the Great Apostasy, our Lady invites us to wear this medal of the Virgin Most Powerful, wear it close to our hearts so that we can be united with the Two Hearts. These are depicted on the back of the medal. The "M", standing for Mary is depicted as a mantle overlapping a crossbeam below the cross. This base of the cross beam or "centerbeam" represents the Sanctifier - the Holy Ghost and establishes firmly that our Lady and her Divine Spouse are working closely together for the salvation of all for Christ left us His Spirit and His Mother to guide us and protect us. The mantle rests on the altar of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered perpetually. For some reason some modern castings of the Miraculous Medal have omitted the altar. Considering the rise of freemasonry and modernism within the Church over the last half of this past century, we shouldn't be surprised. It is vital to remember the altar of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - just as it was in the medal cast in 1854 when Blessed Pius IX proclaimed the Dogma. The emergence of the Novus Ordo where the altar - as the Church has always considered it - was removed, only heightens the need to return the altar to its proper place and the true medal reaffirms this. Twelve stars encircle the medal as on the original medal our Lady requested.
The Message of Rue du Bac Today
The above photos are of the present chapel of Rue de Bac or "Chapel of the Apparitions." In the photo to the left above we can see three altars. Above the main altar is the illustration of Saint Catherine Laboure kneeling as Our Lady imparts her words to the humble nun in July of 1830.
The center photo and the larger one to the left page shows Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception with rays radiating from her hands over the entire earth as clouds surround the globe. On her head a crown of twelve stars (cf. Apocalypse 12: 1). Fittingly she is guiding all to her beloved Son Jesus, Who died for all of us on the Cross. Through the gesture of her hands she reminds us that whatever we ask for will be granted in God's time if we focus on the essence of the altar where the bread and wine are confected into the True Presence of her Divine Son, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. Through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass we willingly agree to carry our cross in imitating Christ and resolving our will to the Divine Will. This is accomplished by the merits of Jesus and by our willingness to convert our hearts to the Two Hearts through prayer, sacrifice and acts of goodness, and through worthy reception of the Most Holy Eucharist by utilizing the Sacrament of Penance and resolving to remain in the state of sanctifying grace.
The photo to the right is of our son Kevin Cain reading in the chapel of Rue de Bac during Mass in 2000 with the Virgin of the Globe statue behind him. There is a closer shot in the photo above to the right of the side altar to the right of the main altar. Here jutting out of the wall in relief is the stunning image of the Virgin of the Globe, Mary Most Powerful. Below the altar is the glassed-encased coffin of the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Laboure, which was placed there in 1933 after her body had been exhumed from her grave 57 years after her death. At that time Church officials discovered - to everyone's amazement and confirmation of her sanctity - that her body was purer than the day she died. God had allowed her earthly remains to be returned to the height of her temporal beauty - a fact that cannot be denied in the argument for supernatural preservation, commonly called "incorrupt." This is significant in this day an age where corruption is everywhere.
Put on the Armor of God's Protection
God knew what would happen in these times, and tried to warn us, to help us. In retrospect, we have been warned numerous times. Our Lady has done all she can with her visits at Rue du Bac in Paris, then at LaSalette sixteen years later and twelve years at Lourdes, reaffirming both the Medal and Pope Pius IX's Dogma on the Immaculate Conception in 1854. Nearly sixty years later she appeared at the Cova in Fatima, Portugal and revealed even more of the torment souls suffer with the visions to the visionaries of hell. Yes, hell does exist and far too many are heading there. Can you afford to allow your soul to become corrupt? While the medal cannot protect you in and of itself just as armor cannot protect one completely, yet it still is an excellent deterrent to the alternative. Protect yourself and loved ones, friends, and your neighbor - even, as Christ says, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.". What better way to "love your enemies" than smiting them with the love of God and His Heavenly Mother through this powerful, protective medal in which our Lady has promised, just as she did with the Rosary and Scapular, that "There will be Great Protection for those who will wear this medal in these days of battle." Put on the Armor of God (cf. Ephesians 6: 10-18) and don't forget your medal. Save up and purchase several, get them blessed by a true priest and then pass them out along with the Green Scapular. They are great ice-breakers in bringing souls back to the true Faith.
For past articles of LIVING IN TRADITION, see 2007lit.htm Archives