The design of the Miraculous Medal was given to St. Catherine Labouré by our Most Holy Mother Mary when she appeared to her on November 27, 1830. Mary explained that all who wear it, especially around the neck, will receive great blessings, most of all those who wear the medal with faith.
The Miraculous Medal was originally called the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, but it quickly took on its popular name as word spread of the miracles connected with its use, particularly aiding the health and conversion of those who wore it.
Just as importantly, the medal actively strengthens our relationship with Mary, serving as a constant reminder of her maternal love for each of us, and of our duties as her children, drawing us ever closer to her, and to her Son.
In Saint Catherine’s vision of the medal, she saw Mary with jewels on her hands, beaming with rays of light. Mary explained that the rays of light represent the many graces that she pours out upon the world. Saint Catherine also saw jewels on Mary’s hands that had no light. Mary explained that they represent the graces that she did not give, but that she would have given if only someone had prayed for them.
Like the Rosary, the gift of the Miraculous Medal is a powerful and beautiful expression of Mary’s love in our lives. And like every expression of Mary’s love, it overflows with the love she shares with God.
After she gave St. Catherine the medal’s design, Mary further explained for whom this love is intended, saying, “Now it must be given to the whole world, and to every person.”