Saint November 28 : St. Catherine Labore whose Body is Incorrupt and the Nun who saw the Vision of the Miraculous Medal
Feastday: November 28 -
Above is the Incorrupt Body of St. Catherine
- Also known as: Zoe Laboure; Catherine Labore
Zoe Laboure was born at Fain-lès-Moutiers, Burgundy, France to the
farmer Pierre Labouré and Louise Laboure as the ninth of eleven children
on May 2, 1806. From an early age felt a call to the religious life. When
Catherine was nine years old, her saintly mother died on October 9, 1815.
After the burial service, little Catherine retired to her room, stood on a chair,
took our Lady's statue from the wall, kissed it, and said: "Now, dear Lady,
you are to be my mother." On January 25, 1818, Catherine made her First
Communion. One day she had a dream in which a priest said to her:
"My daughter, you may flee me now, but one day you will to come to me.
Do not forget that God has plans for you." Sometime later, while visiting
a hospital of the Daughters of Charity at Chatillon-sur-Seine, she noticed
a priest's picture on the wall. She asked a sister who he might be, and
was told: "Our Holy Founder Saint Vincent de Paul." This was the same
priest Catherine had seen in the dream. Catherine knew she was in the right place.
Later, on January 1830, Catherine began her postulancy at Chatillon. On
Wednesday, April 21, 1830, Catherine Labouré entered the novitiate of the
Daughters of Charity, located at their motherhouse, Rue du Bac 140, Paris.
taking the name Catherine. On the eve of the Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul,
July 19, the Sister Superior spoke to the novices about the virtues of their
Holy Founder and gave each of the novices a piece of cloth from the holy
founder's surplice. Because of her extreme love, Catherine split her piece
down the middle, swallowing half and placing the rest in her prayer book.
She earnestly prayed to Saint Vincent that she might, with her own eyes,
see the Mother of God.
1st apparition of the Blessed Virgin: 19th July, 1830 Chapel Rue du Bac 140,
It is 11.30 pm; Sister Catherine Laboure (24 years old) wakes up as she hears
her name called three times. She opens the curtains of her cell and sees her
Guardian Angel in de form of a 5 year old child. He says: "follow me to the
chapel, where the Virgin Mary awaits you". Catherine Laboure hastily
dresses herself and follows him to the chapel. The chapel is lit as for
midnight-Mass, but she can't see the Blessed Virgin. She then kneels and
prays. After half an hour her guardian angel says: "there is the Blessed
Virgin Mary". Catherine Laboure hears a rustle like that of silk and to the
left of St. Joseph she sees the Blessed Virgin Mary descend and sit herself
on the chair of the Priest. Within a moment she is on her knees in front of
the Blessed Virgin, with her hands confidently folded on Mary's knees.
This is the beginning of a two hour long conversation. The Blessed Virgin
Mary tells her that God will charge her with a mission. In the process she
will experience many difficulties. The Blessed Virgin already speaks of bad
times ahead. The whole world will be plunged into confusion through all
sorts of incidents. The Cross will be treated with contempt; it will be cast
to earth. The side of our Lord will be pierced again. The Blessed Virgin says
this with a very sorrowful look on her face. Encouragingly though, she adds:
"but come to the foot of this altar and here graces will be bestowed upon all,
who ask with confidence and fervour. they will be given to the rich and to the
2nd apparition of the Blessed Virgin: 27th November, 1830 Chapel Rue du
Bac 140, Paris
It is 5.30pm, and the Sisters are in the chapel for the hour of Meditation.
Suddenly Catherine Laboure hears, to her right, the same rustle as before;
it is the Blessed Virgin Mary. She stops to the left near the painting of
St. Joseph. This whole apparition is conducted in scenes and sign-language.
The Blessed Virgin "standing in space". She was dressed in white, standing
on a globe and holding a golden ball, with rings on her fingers flashing with
light. An inner voice told her that the ball represented the whole world and
that the rays coming from Mary's fingers represented graces for individuals.
Then, a second phase: The golden ball then vanished as this apparition
changed to represent Mary with her arms outstretched, inside an oval frame
with golden lettering:"O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have
recourse to you." This was the front side of the medal that was to be made."
The reverse side of the Medal
Mary gave her this instruction: "have a medal struck on this model.
All those who carry this will receive Grace in abundance, especially
if they wear the medal around their neck and say this prayer confidently,
they will receive special protection from the Mother of God and abundant
graces". Then it is although the whole scene turns around and Catherine
Laboure can see the back of the medal: in the centre is the letter M, from
where a Cross ascends with at its base a cross-beam which passes through
the letter M and below this the two hearts of Jesus and Mary, one crowned
with thorns the other pierced by the sword of sorrow. The whole is
surrounded with a crown of 12 stars recalling the vision of St. John in the
twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse or Book of Revelation. Catherine Laboure
hears: "the M with the Cross and the two hearts say enough".
During the next year this apparition occurred five times and each time
with the same instructions: "have a medal struck on this model, and all
those who wear it will receive great graces, especially when worn around
the neck".Sister Catherine endured many humiliations, but she persevered.
It took two years before her confessor, Father Aladel, a Vicentian priest,
had the medal struck. The original name of the medal is that of holy Mary’s
Immaculate Conception; only after 7 years was the name changed to the
Because of the many answered prayers, the conversions
and the cures, some 10 million medals were sold during the
first 5 years. The short prayer:
"O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to
Thee", has since been prayed innumerable times by believers, so that the
entire Christianity became familiar with Mary's "Immaculate Conception".
It was Pope Pius IX who made it a rule of faith. This was received with great
joy by the entire Church. Four years later, Mary came as though to confirm
this, when She said to Bernadette at Lourdes: I am the Immaculate
Catherine Laboure died on 31st December 1876.
When her body was exhumed, after fifty-seven years of burial,
it was found to be completely incorrupt and supple.
Her eyes were as blue as the day she died. On 28th May,
1933 she was beatified by Pope Pius XI.
This occasion was witnessed by 50,000 people, of which there
were 8,000 children of Mary, veiled in white,
all wearing the Miraculous Medal. On 27th July, 1947
Catherine Laboure was canonized by Pope Pius XII.
Here again many believers were present,
including more than 10,000 children of Mary, veiled in white.
Many healings, including those of people for whom there was
totally no hope, were attributed to the "Miraculous Medal".
Just in the American city of Philadelphia alone,
between 1930 and 1950, more than 750.000
favours were granted and registered.
Catherine Laboure is still lying in state at the
right of the altar in the chapel Rue du Bac 140,
in Paris and she still looks as though she only died yesterday!
Patroness of architects, miners, and prisoners.
SHARED FROM MARY PAGES
"These apparitions of Mary and the Miraculous Medal by Catherine Laboure are fully approved by the Holy See: 1836"