Post by Elizabeth on Nov 27, 2019 16:15:19 GMT
The Miraculous Medal
The Miraculous Medal comes directly from the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother; it is a gift from heaven which has never ceased to effect marvels of grace throughout the entire world. This medal is a very simple and very efficacious means to benefit from the protection of Mary in all our necessities, both spiritual and temporal.
On November 27, 1830, in a residence of the Daughters of Charity, at the Chapel of the Rue du Bac in Paris, the Most Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Catherine Labouré (1806-1876) for the second time. On this day the Queen of Heaven was seen with a globe under Her feet and holding in Her hands, at the level of the heart, another smaller globe, which She seemed to be offering to Our Lord in a gesture of supplication. Suddenly, Her fingers were covered with rings and beautiful jewels; the rays from these streamed in all directions...
The Blessed Virgin looked down on the humble novice who was contemplating Her. Behold, She said, the symbol of the graces that I bestow on those who ask Me for them. The jewels which remain in the shadows symbolize the graces that one forgets to ask Me for, the Virgin continued. And Catherine Labouré wrote later, She made me understand how generous She is towards persons who pray to Her, how many graces She grants those who ask Her for them, and what joy She has to bestow them! Then there formed around the Mother of God an oval background on which was written in gold letters:
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to Thee.
In a gesture which invited recourse and confidence, the hands of Mary descended and were extended as we see them represented on the medal.
Sister Catherine Labouré beheld this vision with happiness. A voice said to her: Have a medal struck on this model; the persons who will wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck. These graces will be abundant for those who wear it with confidence. The picture seemed to turn around, and Sister Catherine saw, on its reverse side, the letter M surmounted by a little cross, and below it the holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the first surrounded by a crown of thorns, and the second transfixed by a sword. Twelve stars surrounded the monogram of Mary and the two holy Hearts.
Sister Catherine faithfully accomplished the mission Heaven had entrusted to her. In 1832 the medal was struck and immediately underwent a extraordinary diffusion throughout the world, accompanied by unceasing prodigies of cures, protection and conversion. Thus it came to be known as the Miraculous Medal. Let us wear this medal of the Most Blessed Virgin with respect, and often repeat with confidence and love, the invocation by which Our Heavenly Mother desires that we implore favors: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.
Bishop of Riez
Bishop of Riez
Saint Maximus, from his youth as the son of a noble Christian family, manifested a firm predilection for virtue. His austerities, undertaken to conserve his virtue at all costs, were so constant and determined that it seemed he merited the crown of martyrdom even without a tyrant to persecute him. For seven years, after he made a private vow of virginity at the age of eighteen and then entered into religion, he was a disciple of Saint Honoratus, Abbot of the famous monastery on the island of Lerins; and in the year 426 he succeeded in that office his master, who had been chosen bishop of Arles.
For seven years, he governed this monastery, and under his guidance, solid piety and penance flourished as well as excellent studies, which he established and directed himself. The demon, irritated, under various disguises persecuted him without respite, but the holy Abbot put him to flight by the sign of the Cross, our salvation. Saint Maximus was remarkable not only for the spirit of recollection, fervor, and piety familiar to him from childhood, but still more for the gentleness and kindliness with which he governed the fervent monks of this monastery. At that time it contained a very large number of them. Exhibiting in his own person an example of the most sterling virtues, his exhortations could not fail to prove all-persuasive; loving all his religious, whom it was his delight to consider as composing one single family, he established among them the sweet concord, union, and holy emulation in virtue which render the exercise of authority virtually unnecessary, and make holy submission a pleasure.
The clergy and people of Antibes near Lerins, then those of Frejus, moved by such a shining example, elected Maximus for their bishop, but he refused this dignity verbally on the first occasion, and on the second took flight in a boat and then into a forest, where he prayed for three days and nights that the Lord would change the dispositions of the people of Frejus. Their emissaries did not succeed in finding him, and proceeded to another election. He fled again after Saint Hilary joined his approbation to the election of the clergy and people of the city of Riez in the French Alps, then large and heavily populated. This time he was found, and was compelled to accept the see of Riez, his native diocese.
When one day a church was to be built on a hilltop and it was necessary to transport heavy columns to the elevated site, the oxen refused to move. The bishop was absent that day, although he had often come to encourage all concerned. The people attached two more animals to the yoke, but still none of them moved. The bishop was advised, and when he arrived told them he saw a demon standing before the oxen to prevent their advance. He put the enemy to flight once more with the sign of the Cross, and himself detached the two animals who had been requisitioned; and the first two, with his blessing, had no difficulty in arriving at the hilltop.
In the see of Riez Saint Maximus practiced virtue in all gentleness until he died in 460, regretted as the best of fathers.