Today starts the Miraculous Medal Novena. I will be praying this powerful novena and invite you to join me to pray this prayer for the next nine days. St. Catherine of Laboure's feast day is November 28th.
In keeping with Blessed Mother Teresa's tradition of giving out Miraculous medals to all she met, I do the same at all of my talks and book signings. I wear the one that Mother Teresa gave me during my precarious pregnancy with my daughter, Mary-Catherine.
I have witnessed amazing works from the Blessed Mother through her Miraculous medal. Fr. John Hardon S.J. a now deceased renowned Catholic theologian and author and my former spiritual director spoke highly about the Miraculous Medal and told a story about how the Miraculous medal changed his life. I tell his story in my book about Mother Teresa which is tentatively called, Unlikely Saints and will be out sometime in 2008.
To give you a little background on the Miraculous Medal and Saint Catherine Laboure who was the recipient of the message of the Miraculous Medal, I will give you a little sneak peak of an excerpt of my new book about the Saints called, Catholic Saints Prayer Book which will be released in March by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Company. It can also be preordered from my website or Amazon.Com.
...On November 27, 1830, four months after Mary’s first visit to Catherine, she graced Catherine again with her presence; revealing the details of the Miraculous Medal as Catherine was at prayer.Today is the day to start this nine day novena. I encourage all to pray this beautiful novena for all of your intentions and ask you to please add the intentions for safety for the unborn and the elderly, those who are weak and poor and are not able to voice their own rights. Our Lord has asked us through the Gospel of Matthew to take care of the poor, the sick, the lonely, the dying. This is one simple way in which we can.
The Blessed Mother showed Catherine every detail of a medal she told her to have made. The words, “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee,” were shown to her. “Have a medal struck upon this model. All those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces especially if they wear it around the neck. Those who repeat this prayer with devotion will be in a special manner under the protection of the Mother of God. Graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.”
Indeed these graces were profoundly abundant. Catherine was doubted at first about the apparitions, however after two years the Bishop of Paris said the medals were in perfect conformity to the Church. Once these “Medals of the Immaculate Conception” were struck and distributed, miracles, cures, and conversions constantly occurred. Because of these extraordinary miracles and graces, the medal became known as the “Miraculous Medal.” Over a billion medals had been distributed all over the world by the time Saint Catherine died on December 31, 1876.
Catherine kept silent about the apparitions for forty six years, remaining humble until her dying breath. Only her spiritual director knew about the extraordinary occurrences granted to Catherine and then Catherine also disclosed it to one of her superiors. In 1933, fifty seven years after her burial, her body was exhumed for beatification and was found to be incorrupt, as fresh as it was they day it was buried and can be seen today at the Mother House of the Sisters of Charity, 140 Rue du Bac in Paris. She was beatified in 1933 and canonized July 27, 1947 by Pope Pius XII...(excerpt from Catholic Saints Prayer Book, by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle)
The Novena prayer is here:
O Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of Our Lord Jesus and our Mother,
penetrated with the most lively confidence in your all-powerful and never-failing intercession, manifested so often through the Miraculous Medal,
we your loving and trustful children implore you to obtain for us the graces and favors we ask during this novena,
if they be beneficial to our immortal souls,
and the souls for whom we pray.
(Here form your petition)
You know, O Mary, how often our souls have been the sanctuaries of your Son who hates iniquity.
Obtain for us then a deep hatred of sin and that purity of heart which will attach us to God alone so that our every thought, word and deed may tend to His greater glory.
Obtain for us also a spirit of prayer and self-denial that we may recover by penance what we have lost by sin and at length attain to that blessed abode where you are the Queen of angels and of men.