About The Miraculous Medal
The Miraculous Medal was conceived when Blessed Mary appeared to Catherine Laboure’ on November 27, 1830. She described the design of a devotional medal and told Catherine to, "have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for those who wear it with confidence."
Catherine, along with goldsmith Adrien Vachette, crafted and distributed the original medal in 1832. When word of the blessings that Mary had promised began to shower down on those who wore her medal, over a billion were pressed before Catherine's death in 1876.
The medal is typically oval in shape and on the front is an image of the Blessed Virgin with her arms outstretched with beams of light radiating from her hands. She has a halo around her head and is standing on a globe. Under her feet, Mary is crushing a serpent, which is a symbol for the devil. This act is a reminder of the constant battle between good and evil in the world and of Mary’s ability with God to destroy the devil and his works. Circling the outer edge of the medal is the prayer:
“O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”
This prayer recalls that the Virgin Mary was conceived without original sin and born “full of grace.” The year 1830 marks the year that the Blessed Virgin appeared to Catherine.
The back of the medal has the capital letter M prominently centered with a cross rising from the top. The letter M stands for Mary while the cross represents the salvation of Jesus’ cross. The bar under the cross is the Earth. The 12 stars that dot the outer edge reference the 12 apostles who helped establish the Church. The stars can also refer to the verse in the Book of Revelation,
“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” (Revelation 12:1)
Under the letter M are two hearts; the left heart is the Sacred Heart of Jesus who died for our sins; the right heart is the Immaculate Heart of Mary who intercedes for us.