The Amazement of the Visions
St. Catherine Labouré’s visions are testaments to the marvel of Mary leaving us a symbol of her love for us.
This article appears in our spring 2022 issue of the Miraculous Medal magazine, The Message. To receive a free copy, become a member of Our Miraculous Medal family. Details to the right.
On the night of July 18, 1830, an angel awakened Sister Catherine Labouré, a Daughter of Charity, from her sleep. Glowing with light, he escorted her to the chapel where the heavy door opened without his touching it. The chapel’s candles were lit as if for Midnight Mass something the sisters would not do given their vows of poverty. What lay ahead was a heavenly vision.
These facts alone are enough to leave us wondering.
Catherine heard the rustle of fabric, and then saw Our Lady the Mother of God, who suddenly, walked in. When Mary sat in the director’s chair, Catherine put her hands on Mary’s lap and looked into her eyes. They spoke just like a tender mother would speak with her beloved child. As we can imagine, those moments were the sweetest of Catherine’s life. During their conversation, Our Lady told her to come to the foot of the altar, where graces would be spread to all.
FACE-TO-FACE WITH MARY
Can you imagine being in Catherine’s situation, talking to Mary face-to-face? While many visionaries have seen and spoken to Mary, Catherine is the only one to have touched our Blessed Mother.
As Catherine was praying in the chapel in November of the same year, Mary appeared to her again. This time, she stood atop a globe with her feet crushing a serpent. She held another globe that she lifted to heaven. She then told Catherine that the globe represented the entire world and every person in it.
The third apparition occurred that same evening when Mary opened her arms and put her hands out toward the globe. Rays of light shone from the rings on her hand. She told Catherine that the rays were symbols of the graces she poured on those who ask for them. Framing the image were the words, “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” Then the image reversed; Catherine saw stars surrounding the letter “M” with a cross and the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. Our Lady instructed Catherine to make a medal based on what she had seen.
So, wear your Miraculous Medal with trust and love. And know that regardless of what is occurring in the world, Mary holds us in her hands.
The apparition images pictured are in the Lower Level of The Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Visitors are welcome to view them and read the plaques that tell St. Catherine’s story. See the apparition artwork at the shrine in person: Directions and Hours
Read the full story of St. Catherine here.