Many reasons converged over the summer that deepened my desire to wear the miraculous medal around my neck: my conversation with the exorcist, a friend’s medal turned to rose color during a pilgrimage, Sondra Abraham’s amazing story of one woman’s conversion wrought by the medal, St. Maximilian Kolbe’s campaign and the heartwarming testimony of Mother Teresa’s widespread distribution of the medals to evangelize people she met, and how she would lay the medal on the bodily pain of the sick, saying, “Let Mother Mary kiss where it hurts.”
But I didn’t want a medal that would fade in time and since we’d just spent a chunk on school curricula, I was resigned to waiting for Christmas for someone to splurge on me. If it was truly important, I told myself silently, Our Lady would have to provide me with some extra shopping money. And soon.
‘Soon’ came immediately when my husband returned home with an unexpected tip from a satisfied client and announced he would take his girls on a little shopping spree.
The miraculous medal was given to St. Catherine Laboure by the Blessed Mother herself, with the promise:
Its meaning is as follows:
The front of the medal shows the Mother of God encircled by the prayer "O Mary conceived without sin. . .” emphasizes the teaching of the Immaculate Conception.
“Mary stands on a globe, the world. Around her feet a twisted serpent, the devil, struggles for mastery. It is a conflict between good and evil. Satan's is a world of darkness and disgrace; Mary's is a world of light and grace. But hers is the victory won by Christ—the light of the world. So we see the light and grace of Christ flowing from her hands; and those who choose grace rather than darkness turn to her for help: "pray for us who have recourse to thee." (Source EWTN library)
On the back of the medal is emblazoned a large letter M with a cross above it. M stands for Mary and Mother because she is indeed the Mother of God's people—a people founded on the twelve Apostles, signified by the twelve stars arranged around the rim.
“The medal’s *two hearts are those of Jesus and Mary. God's message for Mary was one of suffering "a sword will pierce your heart too"—just as the heart of her Son would be pierced by a soldier's lance. The showing of the *two hearts in one grand alliance is a reminder of God's love for us. Mother and Son are united in the work of redemption as Christ offers himself on the cross and Mary stands compassionately at his feet, assenting in faith so that the world might be saved.
“The medal, then, is a summary in itself of the Church's teaching on Our Lady—a mini-catechism of the faith for everyone.” (EWTN Library)