The Story of the Miraculous Medal. Why Wear The Miraculous Medal?

The Story of the Miraculous Medal. Why Wear The Miraculous Medal?

By Karen Riobo


The Story of the Miraculous Medal is attributed to a series of apparitions of Our Blessed Mother to a young French nun from the Sisters of Charity, St.Catherine Labouré. 

This pious nun’s life completely changed on July 18th,1830, as the The Virgin Mary appeared to her and shared a special mission that will bring new hope to the world: “God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace to do what is necessary. Tell your spiritual director all that passes with you. Times are evil in France and in the world.” 

Our Blessed Mother clearly expressed her desire to console the world and the people of France through the devotion to “ The Miraculous Medal”. 

A detailed description of the medal.

Four months later on November 27, 1830. Her mission was finally revealed; The Virgin Mary displayed herself inside an oval frame, standing upon a globe and stepping on a snake. She wore many rings set with gems that shone dazzling rays of light over the globe. Around the margin of the frame appeared the words “Ô Marie, conçue sans péché, priez pour nous qui avons recours à vous” (O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee). 

The frame rotated showing a circle of twelve stars, a large letter M on a cross, the Sacred Heart of Jesus crowned with thorns and the Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced with a sword. As this mystical experience was unfolding, she asked why some of the gems did not shed light, Mary replied, "Those are the graces for which people forget to ask." Sister Catherine then heard the Virgin Mary ask her to take these images to her father confessor, telling him that they should be put on medallions, "All who wear them will receive great graces.”

Why do Catholics wear It? 


Great graces are given to those who wear it with confidence.

From the moment the medal was designed and distributed among the faithful, multiple miracles of healing, deliverance, and conversions were reported. The promises of the medal were so powerful that its benefactors coined the name “ Miraculous Medal” ( originally, The Medal of The Immaculate Conception Medal). 

Consecration to Mary. 

Catholics who love Mary when they consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary, as part of the ritual and to show true devotion, The Miraculous Medal is given as a reminder of their selfless act of consecration.  


The miraculous medal can be used to evangelize about the love of Jesus and Mary. Their hearts are side by side to remind the world that suffering brings about graces in a person’s life when united to Jesus’ suffering. 

Great saints wore it too. 

St. Maximillian Kolbe made the Miraculous Medal the insignia of the group and had each member wear the medal. He said it was a “silver bullet” against evil.

St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, called it a “medal of charity” and gave it out to everyone. She said that the medal is a sign that God loves each individual at every moment of our lives.


The Meaning of the Front Side of the Miraculous Medal:

The vision then changed to show our Lady standing on a globe with her arms now outstretched and with the dazzling rays of light still streaming from her fingers. Framing the figure was an inscription: “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”

Mary is standing upon a globe, crushing the head of a serpent beneath her foot. She stands upon the globe, as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her feet crush the serpent to proclaim Satan and all his followers are helpless before her (Gn 3:15). The year of 1830 on the Miraculous Medal is the year the Blessed Mother gave the design of the Miraculous Medal to Saint Catherine Labouré. The reference to Mary conceived without sin supports the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary—not to be confused with the virgin birth of Jesus, and referring to Mary's sinlessness, “full of grace” and “blessed among women” (Luke 1:28)—that was proclaimed 24 years later in 1854.

The Meaning of the Back Side of the Miraculous Medal:

The vision turned and showed the design of the reverse side of the medal. Twelve stars encircled a large "M" from which arose a cross. Below are two hearts with flames arising from them. Thorns encircle one heart and a sword pierces the other.

The twelve stars can refer to the Apostles, who represent the entire Church as it surrounds Mary. They also recall the vision of Saint John, writer of the Book of Revelation (12:1), in which “a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars.” The cross can symbolize Christ and our redemption, with the bar under the cross a sign of the earth. The “M” stands for Mary, and the interleaving of her initial and the cross shows Mary’s close involvement with Jesus and our world. In this, we see Mary’s part in our salvation and her role as mother of the Church. The two hearts represent the love of Jesus and Mary for us. (See also Lk 2:35).



The Miraculous Medal is also known as the Medal of Our Lady of Graces, is a devotional medal. Wearing this medal with faith and dedication reminds us of the graces, love and protection that Our Lady gives to all.

 “Have a medal struck after this model. All who wear it will receive great graces; they should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for those who wear it with confidence.” ~ Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Paris, France


Karen Riobo is a copywriter who loves the Holy Spirit! She has worked in Catholic Ministry for over seven years, encouraging young adults to have an intimate relationship with Christ. Her favorite saints are Our Blessed Mother and Saint Francis of Assisi. She enjoys Coffee, learning and Fashion.


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