Quote/s of the Day – 28 November – The Memorial of St Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876) Virgin, Religious Sister of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and the Marian visionary of the Miraculous Medal.
THE PROMISES OF THE MEDAL When Our Lady appeared to Saint Catherine Labouré on 27 November 1830, rays of light flowed from the rings (made of precious stones) on her fingers. However, some of the stones on the rings did not shine.
Our Lady explained:
“These rays symbolise the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The gems from which rays do not fall are the graces for which souls omit to ask.”
“Graces will be poured out on all those, small, or great, who ask for them with confidence and fervour. … ”
The Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876) November 1830
“If you listen to Him, He will speak to you also because with the good God, it is necessary to speak and to listen.”
Blessed James Thompson (Died 1582) Priest Martyr St Papius St Quieta of Dijon St Rufus St Simeon the Logothete St Sosthenes of Colophon (1st Century) Bishop, Martyr. St Stephen the Younger Bl Theodora of Rossano
Martyrs of Constantinople – 8 Saints: A group of over 300 Christians Martyred during the persecutions of the Iconoclast Emperors. We have a lot of information on Saint Stephen the Younger, but for the others we have nothing but seven of their names – Andrew, Auxentius, Basil, Gregor, John, Peter and Stefan. They were scourged, stoned and/or dragged to death through the streets of Constantinople in 764.
Martyrs of North Africa – 13 Saints: A group of thirteen clerics killed or exiled in the persecutions of Arian Vandals in North Africa – Crescens, Crescentian, Cresconius, Eustace, Felix, Florentian, Habetdeum, Hortulanus, Mansuetus, Papinianus, Quodvultdeus, Urban and Valerian.
Martyrs of Tiberiopolis – 14 Saints: A group of fourteen Christian Laymen, Deacons, Priests and Bishops who were Martyred together in the persecutions of Julian the Apostate – Basil, Chariton, Comasios, Daniel, Etymasius, Hierotheos, John, Nicephorus, Peter, Sergius, Socrates, Theodore, Thomas and Timothy. 361 at Tiberiopolis, Phyrgia (in modern Turkey)
Nyina wa Jambo – Mother of the Word, Kibeho, Rwanda (1981) – 28 November
The apparitions began in November 1981 when six young girls and one boy claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus. But only the visions of the first three — 17-year-old Alphonsine, 20-year-old Nathalie, and 21-year-old Marie Claire — have received Bishop Misago’s solemn approval. Because there were reservations about the other four visionaries and the supposed visions of Jesus, Bishop Misago did not confirm the authenticity of either those visions or visionaries. The Virgin appeared to them with the name “Nyina wa Jambo,” that is “Mother of the Word,” which is synonymous with “Umubyeyl W’iamna” that is, “Mother of God,”,as she herself explained to them. In the visions, Our Lady emphasised the call to pray the Rosary. She also asked for penance and fasting. A dreadful vision all three girls received became a key apparition leading to the official acceptance and approval of Kibeho. These girls reported seeing a gruesome picture – a river of blood, people who killed one another, abandoned bodies with no-one to bury them, a tree on fire, an open chasm, a monster, and severed heads. The vision is now considered a prophecy of the ethnic genocide that would take place in the country 13 years later. Tragically, in 1994, visionary Marie Claire became one of its victims.
Description “She had a seamless white dress and also a white veil on her head. Her hands were clasped together on her breast and her fingers pointed to the sky… I could not determine the colour of her skin,” said Alphonsine, “but she was of incomparable beauty.“ From the beginning in Kibeho, in southern Rwanda, there were conversions, prayer meetings, pilgrimages, miraculous cures and favours and abnormal phenomena during the apparitions. Also, the sun appeared to pulsate, spin, or split in two — a miracle reminiscent of Fatima.
Approval “Yes, the Virgin Mary did appear in Kibeho on 28 November 1981″ and then over “the course of the following six months,” proclaimed Bishop Augustine Misago of Gikongoro, Rwanda, Africa, when he announced his official approval of the apparitions. “There are more reasons to believe this than to deny it.”
Prayer Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Word, Mother of all those who believe in Him and who welcome Him into their life, we are here before you to contemplate You. We believe that you are among us, like a mother in the midst of her children, even though we do not see You with our bodily eyes.
We bless you, The Sure Way that leads us to Jesus the Saviour, for all the favours which You endlessly pour out upon us, especially, that, in your meekness, You were gracious enough to appear miraculously in Kibeho, just when our world needed it most.
Grant us always the light and the strength necessary to accept, with all seriousness, Your call to us to be converted, to repent, and to live according to your Son’s Gospel. Teach us how to pray with sincerity and to love one another as He loved us, so that, just as You have requested, we may always be beautiful flowers diffusing their pleasant fragrance everywhere and upon everyone.
Holy Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, teach us to understand the value of the cross in our lives, so that, whatever is still lacking to the sufferings of Christ, we may fill up in our own bodies for His mystical Body, which is the Church. And when our pilgrimage on this earth comes to an end, may we live eternally with You in the kingdom of Heaven. Amen
St Anrê Tran Van Trông Bl Calimerius of Montechiaro
St Fionnchu of Bangor St Pope Gregory III (Died 741) Bishop of Rome 11 February 731 until his death on 28 November 741. (His Feast was moved to 10 December in 1969), St Hilary of Dijon St Hippolytus of Saint Claude St Honestus of Nimes St Irenarcus
Bl James Thompson St Papius St Quieta of Dijon St Rufus St Simeon the Logothete St Sosthenes of Colophon (1st Century) Bishop, Martyr. St Stephen the Younger Bl Theodora of Rossano — Martyrs of Constantinople – 8 saints: A group of over 300 Christians martyred during the persecutions of the Iconoclast emperors. We have a lot of information on Saint Stephen the Younger, but for the others we have nothing but seven of their names – Andrew, Auxentius, Basil, Gregor, John, Peter and Stefan. They were scourged, stoned and/or dragged to death through the streets of Constantinople in 764.
Martyrs of North Africa – 13 saints: A group of thirteen clerics killed or exiled in the persecutions of Arian Vandals in North Africa – Crescens, Crescentian, Cresconius, Eustace, Felix, Florentian, Habetdeum, Hortulanus, Mansuetus, Papinianus, Quodvultdeus, Urban and Valerian.
Martyrs of Tiberiopolis – 14 saints: A group of fourteen Christian laymen, deacons, priests and bishops who were martyred together in the persecutions of Julian the Apostate – Basil, Chariton, Comasios, Daniel, Etymasius, Hierotheos, John, Nicephorus, Peter, Sergius, Socrates, Theodore, Thomas and Timothy. 361 at Tiberiopolis, Phyrgia (in modern Turkey)
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War – Martyred Augustinians of Madrid – 12 beati; Martyred Hospitallers of Madrid – 15 beati; Oblate Martyrs – 23 beati. • Blessed Ángel Francisco Bocos Hernández • Blessed Ángel Sastre Corporales • Blessed Antonio Hilario Delgado Vílchez • Blessed Antonio Meléndez Sánchez • Blessed Avelino Rodríguez Alonso • Blessed Balbino Villaroel y Villaroel • Blessed Benito Alcalde González • Blessed Bernardino Álvarez Melcón • Blessed Cándido Castán San José • Blessed Cecilio Vega Domínguez • Blessed Clemente Díez Sahagún • Blessed Clemente Rodríguez Tejerina • Blessed Daniel Gómez Lucas • Blessed Eduardo Bautista Jiménez • Blessed Eleuterio Prado Villaroel • Blessed Francisco Esteban Lacal • Blessed Francisco Polvorinos Gómez • Blessed Gregorio Escobar García • Blessed Isidoro Martínez Izquierdo • Blessed José Guerra Andrés • Blessed José Mora Velasco • Blessed José Peque Iglesias • Blessed José Prieto Fuentes • Blessed José Ruiz Cuesta • Blessed José Vega Riaño • Blessed Juan Alcalde y Alcalde • Blessed Juan Antonio Pérez Mayo • Blessed Juan Baldajos Pérez • Blessed Juan Herrero Arroyo • Blessed Juan Jesús Adradas Gonzalo • Blessed Juan José Caballero Rodríguez • Blessed Juan María Múgica Goiburu • Blessed Juan Pedro del Cotillo Fernández • Blessed Julián Plazaola Artola • Blessed Justo Fernández González • Blessed Justo Gil Pardo • Blessed Justo González Lorente • Blessed Lucinio Ruiz Valtierra • Blessed Luis Campos Górriz • Blessed Manuel álvarez Rego • Blessed Manuel Gutiérrez Martín • Blessed Marcelino Sánchez Fernández • Blessed Marcos Pérez Andrés • Blessed Pascual Aláez Medina • Blessed Pedro de Alcántara Bernalte Calzado • Blessed Pedro María Alcalde Negredo • Blessed Vicente Andrés Llop Gaya • Blessed Publio Rodríguez Moslares • Blessed Ramiro Frías García • Blessed Sabino Rodrigo Fierro • Blessed Samuel Pajares García • Blessed Senén García González • Blessed Serviliano Riaño Herrero • Blessed Vicente Blanco Guadilla
Thought for the Day – 28 November – The Memorial of St Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876)
The Miraculous Medal has been called “a summary of the Church’s teaching on Our Lady, a mini-catechism of the faith for everyone.” Indeed, the Marian vision that inspired the medal included some important symbolism!
For starters, the reference to Mary’s having been conceived without sin on the medal, shown in its original French in the photo above, was defined as a Dogma by the church in 1854, hence the reason that the Medal is actually officially known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception – (Note that this refers to Mary’s conception, not to Jesus’ birth, a common misconception!)
Note also that Mary is shown in the photo above standing on a globe crushing the head of a serpent. This is in line with scripture, from Genesis 3:15, which foretells Satan’s ultimate defeat at the hands of her Son. (Granted, this is not readily visible here or indeed on many Miraculous Medals, particularly small ones!)
On the back of the medal (the picture on the right above) we see symbols of Jesus and Mary, in the Cross (the symbol of her Son’s victory over sin and death for us at Calvary) with the Letter “M” for Mary right underneath it. Directly underneath that are two hearts, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, both filled with great love for each other and for us too! We see their sadness over our sins as well in this depiction. On the left side are the thorns of our indifference and ingratitude piercing our Lord’s Sacred Heart even while it burns with love for us. On the right side we see a sword piercing Mary’s heart, which is filled with sorrow as well as love (as described here). Surrounding these poignant images we see twelve stars symbolising the twelve apostles.
On the front of the medal (left) we see our Lady’s hands outstretched with rays of light, symbolising grace, streaming from her fingers. (Again, granted, this may be hard to see on a small medal!) We are reminded here of St Louis de Montfort’s reference to her as the “treasurer and dispenser of God’s graces.”
We can see from all this that the Miraculous Medal is an important sacramental, indeed, as it can give us the graces Our Lady wishes us to have on behalf of her Divine Son. Indeed, she herself said to St Catherine when giving her the vision of the medal “Have a medal made according to this model. Everybody who wears it will receive great graces by wearing it around the neck. The graces will be abundant for persons who wear it with confidence.” Remember, however, that the most important place of honour for Mary must be in our hearts, not around our necks.
It is important to note as well that, as with all sacramentals, the Miraculous Medal is not some “lucky charm”. Keep in mind also, that in expressing devotion to Mary, we do not worship her, as many Christians in other denominations, especially some Evangelicals, believe, but rather honour her in her devotion to our Lord! As the popular saying goes “to Jesus through Mary.”
Remember also her last words in Scripture, which could almost be her motto, in which she told the attendants at the wedding feast of Cana “Do whatever he [Jesus] tells you” (John 2:5).
Prayers such as the Hail Mary and the Memorare can also help do us worlds of good in receiving and sharing the graces she wishes to give us. They are all meant to lead us to a closer relationship with Jesus!
Mary showed St Catherine an intriguing symbol in her Miraculous Medal vision. The rays of light emanating graces came from sparkling jewels on Our Lady’s fingers. St Catherine noticed, however that some of these jewels were dark and not giving forth any light. Mary explained that “those stones which remain dark symbolise the graces people have forgotten to request.”Don’t let such graces be lost on you! And don’t ever be afraid to ask for her help in obtaining Christ’s mercy!
Quote of the Day – 28 November – The Memorial of St Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876)
“When I go to the Chapel, I place myself before the good God and I say to Him: ‘Lord, here I am, give me what You will.’ If He gives me something, I am very pleased and I thank Him. If He gives me nothing, I still thank Him because I do not deserve anything. And then again, I tell Him all that passes through my mind, I recount my pains and my joys and … I listen. If you listen to Him, He will speak to you also because with the good God, it is necessary to speak and to listen. He will always speak to you, if you go to Him simply and sincerely.”
One Minute Reflection – 28 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 21:12–19, Wednesday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876)
“But not a hair of your head will perish.”...Luke 21:18
REFLECTION – ” In difficult times, one must believe that Jesus is before us and does not cease to accompany His disciples. Persecution is not in contradiction to the Gospel but rather is part of it. As if to say that none of man’s suffering, not even that which is most minute and hidden, is invisible to the eyes of God. God sees and certainly protects and He will give His redemption. There is in fact in our midst, Someone who is stronger than evil. Christians therefore, must always be found, on the “opposite side” of the world, that chosen by God – not persecutors but persecuted, not arrogant but meek, not charlatans but submissive to the truth, not imposters but honest men and women.”…Pope Francis General Audience, 28 June 2017
PRAYER – Shed Your clear light on our hearts O Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be afraid, never be deceived or misled but by Your strength, stand firm in our faith. For Your Son, walks before us, beside us and behind us. The Holy Spirit of Your love fills us. Let nothing put us to shame . Grant that by the prayers of St Catherine Labouré and all Your saints, we may be strengthened for the journey. Through our Lord Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, God eternally and forever, amen.
Saint of the Day – 28 November – St Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876) Virgin, Religious Sister of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and is a Marian visionary. St Catherine was born on 2 May 1806 at Fain-les-Moûtiers, Côte d’Or, Burgundy, France as Zoe Labouré and died on 31 December 1876 at Enghien-Reuilly, France. Her body is incorrupt and is entombed in glass beneath the side altar in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal at 140 Rue du Bac, Paris. Patronages – Miraculous Medal, infirm people, the elderly.
Catherine Zoé Labouré was born in a small village of France in 1806, the daughter of a well-to-do farmer who had at one time wanted to become a priest and his very Christian wife. Catherine, the ninth of the eleven living children, lost her mother when she was only nine years old and had to abandon school to go to live with an aunt, accompanied by her younger sister. Two years later she was recalled to take charge of the household, because the older children had all left, one to become a Sister of Saint Vincent de Paul, the others to marry or seek a living elsewhere.
She made a vow of virginity when still very young, desiring to imitate the Holy Virgin, to whom she had confided herself when her mother died. She longed to see Her and she prayed, in her simplicity, for that grace. She spent as many hours as possible in the Chapel of the Virgin in the village church, without, however, neglecting the work of the household. She talked to Our Lady as to a veritable mother and indeed the Mother of Christ and ours, would prove Herself to be such. Catherine wished to become a nun, without having opted for any particular community but one day she saw a venerable priest in a dream, saying Mass in her little village church. He turned to her afterwards and made a sign for her to come forward but in her dream she retreated, walking backwards, unable to take her gaze from his face. He said to her – ‘Now you flee me,but later you will be happy to come to me, God has plans for you.’ The dream was realised and, as a postulant in the Community of Saint Vincent de Paul, she assisted at the translation of his relics to a nearby church of Paris. She had indeed recognised his picture one day in one of the convents of the Sisters of Charity and obtained her father’s consent to enter that Congregation when her younger sister was old enough to replace her at home.
Catherine’s interior life was filled with the visions she frequently had of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, where once she saw Him as Christ the King. And the designs of God for this humble novice began to be fulfilled, after Our Lady appeared to her in July of 1830 and confided to her the mission of having a Medal struck according to the living picture she saw one night, when a little Angel led her to the convent Chapel, and there she knelt at the Virgin’s feet to hear the words which would be the motivating force of her forty-six years of religious life. The Blessed Mother displayed herself inside an oval frame, standing upon a globe, rays of light came out of her hands in the direction of a globe. Around the margin of the frame appeared the words “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” As Catherine watched, the frame seemed to rotate, showing a circle of twelve stars, a large letter M surmounted by a cross, and the stylized Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary underneath. Asked why some of the rays of light did not reach the Earth, Mary reportedly replied “Those are the graces for which people forget to ask.” Catherine then heard 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.”
Once more, she would see the Blessed Mother, on 27 November of the same year, when one afternoon while at prayer with her Sisters, she beheld Her to one side of the chapel, Her feet poised on a globe, on which was prostrate a greenish serpent; the hands of the Virgin were holding a golden globe at the level of the heart, as though offering it to God, said Catherine later, in an attitude of supplication, Her eyes sometimes raised to heaven, sometimes looking down at the earth and Her lips murmuring a prayer for the entire world. The face of the Virgin was of incomparable, indescribable beauty, with a pleading expression which plunged the Sister into ravishment, while she listened to Her prayers. The Immaculate Virgin, after having offered to God Her Compassion with the suffering Christ, prayed for all men and for each one in particular; she prayed for this poor world, that God might take pity on its ignorance, its weakness and faults and that by pardoning He would hold back the arm of Divine Justice, raised to strike. She prayed the Lord to give peace to the universe.
For many years Catherine kept her secrets from all save her confessor, Father Jean-Marie Aladel (1800-1865), priest of the Mission of Saint Vincent, who, wanting to be able to continue with his penitent, saw to it that she was not sent far from Paris, after he had fulfilled the first mission of having the Medal struck. He died, however, before having the statue made according to this second vision, as Our Lady desired. Catherine suffered much from her inability to accomplish the second part of her mission. When she finally confided this second desire of Our Lady to her Sister Superior, a statue of Our Lady, Queen of the World and Mediatrix of all Graces, was made for two Chapels of the nuns.
Saint Catherine died in 1876, after spending the next 40 years of her life in the domestic and agricultural duties associated with the kitchen and garden and in general caring for the elderly of the Hospice of Enghien at Reuilly, only about three miles southeast of Paris. Among her writings recounting the apparitions, we read: “Oh, how beautiful it will be to hear it said, Mary is Queen of the universe. That will be a time of peace, joy and happiness which will be long… She will be borne like a banner and will make a tour of the world. The Virgin foretold that this time would come only after the entire world will be in sadness… Afterwards, peace.”
She was Beatified on 28 May 1933 by Pope Pius XI and Canonised on 27 July 1947 by Pope Pius XII.
Devotion to Mary is at the very heart of Catholicism and from time to time we are reminded by Our Lady, that this love is not unfounded. This devotion is as ancient as the Church itself and is one of the qualities that marks a Catholic. The beauty which emanates from devotion to Mary, is how she constantly leads us to her Son. We will find on examination of the great Saints who loved her so deeply that they also loved Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, first and foremost – Mary takes second place once she has led us to Him.
Today’s Saint, St Catherine Labouré, said the following:
“Whenever I go to the chapel, I put myself in the presence of our good Lord and I say to Him, ‘Lord, here I am. Tell me what You would have me do.’ If He gives me some task, I am content and I thank Him. If He gives me nothing, I still thank Him since I do not deserve to receive anything more than that. And then, I tell God everything that is in my heart. I tell Him about my pains and my joys and then I listen. If you listen, God will also speak to you, for with the good Lord, you have to both speak and listen. God always speaks to you when you approach Him plainly and simply.”
– St. Catherine Laboure (1806 – 1876)
Those who love me, I also love and those who seek me find me……….Prv 8:17
REFLECTION – Blessed are those who abandon themselves into Our Lady’s hands.Their names are written in the Book of Life…………….St Bonaventure
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, make me a devoted client of Your Beloved Mary, the Mother of our Lord the Christ. Let me entrust myself always into her hands so that she may protect me as she took care of Your Son. Let me place complete trust in her, as St Catherine did, knowing that she will lead me to You. St Catherine Labouré Pray for us! Amen
St Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876) Sister of Charity, Mystric and Visionary – Patron of the Miraculous Medal, infirm people, the elderly
St. Catherine Labouré (born Zoe ) was the ninth of eleven children. On October 9, 1815 Catherine was nine years old when her mother died. After this, she and her younger sister were raised by their aunt. It is said that after her mother’s funeral, Catherine picked up a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and kissed it; saying “Now you will be my mother.”
She was a simple, uneducated young woman. In 1830, having cared for her father’s household for a decade, she joined the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul at Châtillon-sur-Seine, France. On July 31, late at night a shining child awakened her and escorted her to the chapel.
There Mary spoke with her for two hours, telling her she would have a difficult task to perform and predict future events. On November 27, Mary appeared to give Catherine her mission. She saw Mary standing on a globe, with rays of light flooding from her hands. Later Catherine gave this account of the vision:
While I contemplated her, the Blessed Virgin lowered her eyes and looked upon me. Then I heard a voice saying to me: “The ball that you see represents the entire world . . . and each person in particular. These rays symbolize the graces that I shed on those who ask for them.” With this I understood how agreeable to the Blessed Virgin are the prayers addressed to her. I discovered how generous she is toward those who invoke her, what precious graces she would give those who would ask them of her and with what joy she would grant them.
At this moment I scarcely knew where I was. All I can say is that I was immersed in supreme delight, when a panel of oval shape formed around the Blessed Virgin. On it traced these words: “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!” Then a voice said to me: “Have a medal struck on this model. All those who wear it will receive great graces. It should be worn around the neck. Great graces will be the portion of those who wear it with confidence.” All at once the picture appeared to turn and I saw the reverse of the medal. Solicitous about what should be inscribed on the reverse, one day I seemed to hear a voice saying: “The M and the two hearts are enough.”
Catherine spoke about the apparitions only to Father M. Aladel, her confessor, who determined that they were genuine. With the permission of the archbishop of Paris, Aladel had 1500 medals struck in 1832. The conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne, an Alsatian Jew who had reluctantly worn the medal and then had the same vision as Catherine, enormously increased its popularity.
Catherine herself maintained her anonymity. She even refused to appear at the archbishop’s investigation in 1836 that declared the visions authentic. She lived quietly for the rest of her life at a convent in Enghien-Neuilly, answering the door, raising poultry, and tending the sick. But when Catherine died in 1876, an outburst of popular veneration exploded at her funeral. And the healing of a 12-year-old girl, crippled from birth, at her grave helped spread her fame widely. Catherine Labouré has become one of the most esteemed of all the saints and the Miraculous Medal is almost a Catholic Staple, loved, worn and revered by millions and the cause of miracles in everyday life.
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