November 28, 2015

November 28, 2015 — Feast of St. Catherine Labouré

St. Catherine Labouré
Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Catherine Labouré. She was a member of the Daughters of Charity. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her three times in 1830 and commissioned her to have the Miraculous Medal made and to spread its devotion. She humbly dispensed her duties, devoting herself especially to the care of the elderly men in the poor Paris suburb where the Daughters ministered. The discovery that her earthly remains were intact spurred calls for her sainthood. St. Catherine Labouré was canonized in 1947 by Pope Pius XII. Her incorrupt body is encased in glass beneath the side altar in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Paris, France.

The Life of St. Catherine Labouré

St Catherine Labouré was born May 2, 1806 in Fainles-Moutiers, a village of Burgundy, France. She was the ninth of eleven children. God made known the choice of this soul by marking her at an early age with the seal of suffering. She was only nine years-old she lost her mother.

St. Catherine responded to the divine call by entering the Community of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris. Here, during the first months of her novitiate, she was favored with several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, who confided to her the mission of having the Miraculous Medal made.

St. Catherine Labouré and the Miraculous Medal

St. Catherine maintained a strict silence concerning these apparitions, speaking of them only to her confessor, according to the instructions of Our Lady.
One must see God in everyone.
— St. Catherine Labouré

Over forty-six years St. Catherine witnessed the wonders and miracles brought about through the Medal. During all this time, carefully guarding her secret of the apparitions, she humbly performed her commonplace duties, devoting herself especially to the care of the infirmed, destitute men of Enghien, a suburb of Paris. For this she is called the patroness of seniors.

On December 31, 1876, St. Catherine left this earth for Heaven, to contemplate there her Immaculate Queen whose love and beauty had captured her heart on earth.

Her body was exhumed fifty-seven years later and found in perfect condition. Even death respected her who had enjoyed the extraordinary privilege of resting her hands on the knees of the Blessed Virgin for more than two hours during one of the apparitions. St. Catherine was canonized by Pope Pius XII on July 27, 1947.

The simplicity of St. Catherine's life endears her to everyone. She became a saint by doing her commonplace duties well, for God. This "Saint of Ordinary People" has the secret of sanctity for us all.

Excerpted from The Central Association of the Miraculous Medal.

St. Catherine is the patroness of the elderly.

Collect Prayer

Stir up the will of your faithful, we pray, O Lord, that striving more eagerly to bring your divine work to fruitful completion, they may receive in greater measure the healing remedies your kindness bestows. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Prayer to Saint Catherine Labouré 

St. Catherine Labouré, you were the chosen confidant of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She revealed to you her desire that her children wear the Miraculous Medal as a mark of their love for her and in honor of her Immaculate Conception.

Intercede for us, that we may follow our heavenly mother's desires. Ask that we may receive those special graces which flow from her motherly hands like rays of light. Amen.

St. Catherine Labouré: Her Life and Mission

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