What does the medal mean?
The Front Side • Mary stands on a globe, crushing a serpent beneath her feet. Describing the original vision, Catherine said the Blessed Mother appeared radiant as a sunrise, " • Rays shoot out from Mary's hands, which she told Catherine, "... symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them." • Words from the vision form an oval frame around Mary: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." Seen as a matrix, the elements of the front design encapsulate major Marian tenets: • Immaculate The words, "conceived without sin" • Assumed into Heaven She stands on the globe • Mediatrix Rays from her hands symbolizing "graces" The Reverse Side • A cross-and-bar surmounts a large, bold "M" • 12 stars disperse around the perimeter • Two hearts are depicted underneath the "M," the left lapped with a crown of thorns, the right skewed by a sword. From each, a flame emanates from the top. Again, employing a grid analysis, we can see how the reverse-side design contains great symbolism reflecting major tenets of the Catholic faith. Design Element and its Catholic Meaning • The large letter "M" — Mary as Mother, Mediatrix. • Cross and bar — Jesus' cross of Redemption. • 12 stars — 12 Apostles, who formed the first Church. • Left Heart — The Sacred Heart, who died for our sins. • Right Heart — The Immaculate Heart, who intercedes for us. • Flames — The burning love Jesus and Mary have for us. It is "a testimony to faith and the power of trusting prayer. Its greatest miracles are those of patience, forgiveness, repentance, and faith."
To obtain a free Miraculous Medal, write to the Association of the Miraculous Medal, 1811 W. St. Joseph St., Perryville, MO, 63775.