From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jul 18 00:08:20 2022
Downward roots enable upward growth
"Observe a tree, how it first tends downwards, that it may then shoot
forth upwards. It fastens its root low in the ground, that it may send
forth its top towards heaven. Is it not from humility that it
endeavors to rise? But without humility it will not attain to higher
things (Proverbs 18:12). You are wanting to grow up into the air
without a root. Such is not growth, but a collapse."
--St. Augustine-- (excerpt from THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, SERMON 38.2)
July 18th - Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal: The First Apparition
Today, we commemorate the first apparition of Our Blessed Mother, Our
Lady of the Miraculous Medal, to Saint Catherine Labouré at the
convent at Rue du Bac in Paris. During a series of 3 apparitions, Our
Blessed Mother detailed to Saint Catherine the evils of the world,
encouraged her to pray for salvation, and provided a means in which
for the holy to consecrate themselves to her Sacred Heart, providing
protection and grace.
Catherine Labouré was born the 7th of 9 children to a poor farming
family in the small French village of Fain-les-Moutiers. From an early
age she wished to join religious life, her heart set upon the
Daughters of Charity, an order which her older sister had joined. Her
father, however, was opposed to another daughter joining the religious
life, instead wishing for Catherine to be married. Twice she refused
offers of marriage, instead praying for the grace to serve the Lord.
As a young woman, she dreamt a holy dream in which she was visited by
Saint Vincent de Paul (see here, Saint Louise de Marillac, for further information), founder of the Daughters of Charity. In Catherine’s
words: “I was praying in the church. An old priest came to say Mass.
He looked at me and I felt like running away. Then he said ‘Someday,
you will meet me again. God has plans for you.’” Catherine did not recognize the founder of The Daughters of Charity until her father
eventually allowed her to enter the order. It was there, upon her
first day at the convent that she observed a picture of the holy
saint, and realized her prophetic calling.
At age 24, in April of 1830, Catherine’s life was to change
dramatically. Over the months prior, she had witnessed apparitions of
Saint Vincent de Paul while at prayer in the chapel. On 3 successive
days, he appeared to Catherine, showing her his heart. Each day, his
holy heart appeared as a different color: white for peace, red for
fire, and then black--an indication of the misfortunes that would come
upon France. Saint Catherine also experienced mystical ecstasies in
which she say Christ physically present in the Sacred Eucharist, and
on the feast of the Holy Trinity, a vision of the crucified Christ as
These miraculous visions set the stage for the events of July 18,
1830. Saint Catherine had spent the evening in the chapel, praying to
Saint Vincent de Paul, voicing her desire to see the Blessed Virgin.
Retiring to her room, she attempted to sleep, when a mysterious child
appeared at the foot of her bed. The child, in a pure, sweet voice,
encouraged her, saying, “Sister Catherine, Sister Catherine, get up
quickly. Come to the chapel. Our Lady is waiting for you.”
Catherine dressed quickly, following the child who radiated light
wherever he went. Arriving at the chapel, Catherine found it to be
illuminated by countless candles, similar (but in greater number) to
those found at Midnight Mass. There she prayed in uneasy silence for approximately 30 minutes. At midnight, Saint Catherine hear a sound
which she would describe as “the swish of a silk dress.” A beautiful
and majestic Lady walked down the altar steps and seated herself in
the director's chair.
“Look,” said the child. “Here is the Blessed Virgin.”
Sister Labouré knelt at the foot of the chair and talked with the
Queen of Heaven. In her own words, she wrote, “I then bounded to the
steps of the altar, knelt, and let my hands rest on the knees of the
Blessed Virgin. There I spent the most pleasant time of my life. It
would be impossible for me to describe what I experienced. The Blessed
Virgin told me how I should conduct myself with regard to my confessor
and many other things.”
At first the conversation was personal, and then Our Lady delivered a
message for the world. With Catherine kneeling before her, Our Lady of
the Miraculous Medal declared:
"Great troubles are about to happen in France. The danger will be
great. But do not be afraid. The good God and Saint Vincent will take
care of the Sisters of Charity and the Priests of the Mission...”
She continued, forewarning of the continuing revolution and unrest in
France. During this portion of the conversation, Our Blessed Mother’s
face was etched with sadness:
"My child, the Cross of Jesus will be hated, many priests will be put
to death. The Archbishop will die. The streets will run with blood. My
child, the whole world will be filled with trouble and sorrow. The
days are evil. Terrible things are going to happen in France. The
King's throne will be overturned. The whole world will be filled with
trouble of every kind. But come to the foot of this Altar often. Here
many graces will be given to everyone who asks for them. They will be
given to the rich and to the poor, the great and the lowly.”
Lastly, Our Blessed Mother spoke to Saint Catherine about her mission:
“My child, the good God wishes to give you a mission. Later I shall
let you know what it is. You will have much to suffer.”She added: "Do
not be afraid of difficulties. Pray to Jesus present in the Blessed
Sacrament. But do not be afraid.”
With that, the Holy Virgin disappeared. Saint Catherine returned to
her room, surprised that nearly two hours had passed. Saint Catherine
would not see Our Blessed Mother again until November 27. During that
time, much of what she had predicted had come to pass. In her
subsequent visitations, Holy Mary provided Saint Catherine with a
remedy to the evils of the world, a method of devotion and
consecration, and the encouragement to pray for sinners and engage in
acts of penance. It was during the apparition of November 27 that Our
Blessed Mother provided Saint Catherine the instructions to create the Miraculous Medal--a devotion which continues today.
Posted by Jacob
Christians must lean on the Cross of Christ just as travelers lean on
a staff when they begin a long journey. They must have the Passion of
Christ deeply embedded in their minds and hearts, because only from it
can they derive peace, grace, and truth.
--St. Anthony of Padua
"Nothing is to be done out of jealousy or vanity; instead, out of
humility of mind everyone should give preference to others, everyone
pursuing not selfish interests but those of others. Make your own the
mind of Christ Jesus." [Philippians 2:3-5]
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO
OUR LADY OF THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL
O Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate,
we dedicate and consecrate ourselves to you
under the title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
May this Medal be for each one of us
a sure sign of your affection for us
and a constant reminder of our duties towards you.
Ever while wearing it,
may we be blessed by your loving protection
and preserved in the grace of your Son.
O most powerful Virgin,
Mother of our Saviour,
keep us close to you every moment of our lives.
Obtain for us, your children,
the grace of a happy death;
so that, in union with you,
we may enjoy the bliss of heaven forever.
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.