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December 1830: 3rd and last Appearance of the Virgin Mary
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Catherine continued to dedicate her life to helping the poor and kept her secret that she only revealed to the Superior of her Congregation on the eve of her death. In this last appearance, the Virgin Mary repeated her request and stated her anger that Mr Aladel had not had the medal struck. She once more advised Catherine to open her heart to him. Mr Aladel then talked to the General Procurator of the Lazarists, Mr Etienne, his friend, who obtained a meeting with the Archbishop of Paris, Mgr de Quélen. Moved by this appearance, he decided to have such a medal struck without revealing the events leading to this new effigy.


The 1st medal: June 1832

The first medal was therefore made in 1832 by Order of Mgr Quélen, in agreement with Rome. In 1834, the medal was called the Miraculous Medal as it provided protection and helped cure illness. Certain conversions due to it, like that of a young Swiss banker, even became famous. In 1836 unexplained healings occurred in the United States, where the Miraculous Medal had been widely distributed and in Poland in 1837…. In 1839, 10 million medals were struck. The Miraculous Medal became a sign of protection in the Christian world. In 1858, during the first appearances of Lourdes, Catherine Labouré remembered that one of the wishes of the Virgin Mary had been to make the chapel on the rue du Bac a place of pilgrimage. Several texts mention that Bernadette Soubirous wore the Miraculous Medal during the first appearance of Lourdes.

Official recognition by the Church

Sister Catherine Labouré died on 31st December 1876, and was buried beneath the Reuilly Chapel near Paris. It was only on 27th July 1947, after a long administrative procedure and the examination of these Appearances by the Vatican to authenticate these events, that Pius XII canonised Catherine Labouré. Today, you can visit the Chapel at 140, rue du Bac in Paris.


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