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Mary’s Chair and Relic

Mary’s Chair and Relic

The story of Mary’s Chair and Relic began with a young novice in France. For Catherine Labouré, July 18, 1830, was just like every Sunday. But as she prepared for bed, she never imagined what was about to take place. A child awakened her and led her to the chapel, Catherine knelt at the foot of the altar and waited patiently as instructed.

Radiant and clad in flowing robes, the Blessed Mother took her seat in the chapel chair. After two hours, she vanished leaving behind a memory that was permanently etched into Catherine’s heart.

Director’s Chair

Years later, when she described Mary’s apparition, Catherine referred to the chair as “similar to that of the Director.” However, the sisters who had overseen the sacristy, were convinced that it could only have been the Director’s Chair.

“It seems certain that it is on this armchair that the Blessed Virgin sat,” recounted Sister Pineau, the sacristan. “It has, moreover, served as an instrument for several miracles, especially on the 50th anniversary celebrations in 1880.”

Authentication of Our Lady’s Holy Relic

With newfound confidence in the validity of the chair, the Daughters only refurbished its fabric twice: 1851 and 1880. Little is known regarding the whereabouts of the original material, which was removed during the refurbishing. At least one of the swatches from the original cloth was repurposed as a holy relic. One of those swatches is located in The Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, a donation from Sister Marie Reeves from the Daughters in Paris. It sits beside a replica of the Director’s Chair placed in the Shrine by Fr. Carl Pieber, CM. The original chair resides in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Paris, France.