The virtues of St. Catherine Labouré; simple service as a nursing sister for over 40 years, keeping silent and not boasting of the fact that the Virgin Mary had appeared to her twice, giving her the Miraculous Medal.
Saint Catherine Labouré, D.C.SimplicitySupernatural VisionsSilencePatienceHumility
The stuff of SainthoodThe fact that Saint Catherinerested her hands on the lapof the Blessed Mother didnot make her a saint.She personally worked nomiracles, nor did she practiceexternally heroic charity likeother great saints.
The makings of a SaintShe was not materially poor aswere the children of Fatima andSaint Bernadette... she sprangfrom upper middle classparents among the meadowsand vineyards of Burgundy,France.
Consistent, faithful serviceHer sanctity consists in halfa century of faithful serviceas a simple Daughter ofCharity.
“God opposes the proud but showsfavor to the humble...”It had been almost 300 years sincethe last apparition of Our Lady ofGuadalupe in 1531. It is interestingthat the Holy Mother of God beganher plans with a 24-year-old novicein the Motherhouse of the Daughtersof Charity.
From the start, consistently faithfulAs a teenager, Catherinehad arisen every morningat 4:00 a.m. and walkedseveral miles to church inorder to assist at Mass, andto pray.
Mother of Our Lord, and our MotherWhen Catherine was nine yearsold, her mother died. After theburial service, little Catherinewent to her room, stood on achair, took our Ladys statuefrom the wall, kissed it, andsaid: "Now, dear Lady, you areto be my mother."
God’s RevelationsFrom ancient times, God hasrelayed His messages throughthe power of the Holy Spirit,to His chosen servants byvisions and dreams.From “The Vision of Daniel”painting by Willem Drost
An old priest with a messageOne day Catherine had adream in which she watched anold priest say Mass. The visionmoved to a sick room whereshe saw the same priest, whosaid: "My child, it is a gooddeed to look after the sick [...]God has designs on you-- donot forget it."
Astonishing realizationSometime later, while visiting ahospital of the Daughters ofCharity, she noticed a priestspicture on the wall. She asked asister who he might be, and wastold: "Our Holy Founder SaintVincent de Paul." This was thesame priest that Catherine hadseen in the dream!
Extraordinary visionsIn 1830, Catherine entered theSeminary at the Mother House ofthe Daughters of Charity. Shortlyafterwards, God granted her severalamazing visions. Three times shebeheld the heart of St. Vincentabove the reliquary in which hisrelics were exposed. At other times,she beheld our divine Lord in frontof the Blessed Sacrament.
Apparitions of MaryHer first apparition of the BlessedVirgin was on July 19, 1830. Shereappeared to Catherine onNovember 27, 1830, and said,"Have a medal struck in this form(which she described in detail).All who wear it will have greatgraces." Because of the powerworking through it, it came to becalled the "Miraculous Medal".
Patience in the face of skepticismWhen Catherine asked how shewas to have the medal struck,Mary told her to go to herconfessor, a Father Jean MarieAladel. Father Aladel at first didnot believe Catherine.
Waiting for two yearsAfter two years worth ofinvestigation and observation ofCatherines normal daily behavior,the priest finally went to thearchbishop, without revealingSister Catherine’s identity. TheArchbishop listened carefully andquestioned Fr. Aladel in detail, andfinally gave his permission for twothousand medals to be made.
Miraculous spread of the devotionWhen Catherine received her shareof these first medals from thehands of the priest she said: "Nowit must be propagated."The spread of a devotion to themedal, urged by Saint Catherine,was carried out so swiftly that itwas miraculous itself.
HumilityWe might expect that praise andprominence would be the lot ofone so favored by heaven. ButCatherine sought none of it;rather, she fled from it. Shewanted to be left alone to carryout her humble duties as aDaughter of Charity.
Forty-six year silenceSister Catherine lived herremaining years as an ordinarynursing sister. For over forty years,she cared for the aged and infirm,not revealing to those about herthat she had been the recipient ofour Ladys medal. (She hassometimes been called “The SilentSaint”.)
Catherine finally reveals her storyIn 1876, Catherine began to feela spiritual conviction that shewould die before the end of theyear. Mary Immaculate gaveCatherine leave to speak, tobreak the silence of forty-sixyears. To her Sister Superior,Catherine revealed the fact thatshe was the sister to whom theBlessed Mother appeared.
Catherine reunited with Mary in heavenOn December 31, 1876, SaintCatherine passed on-- onceagain to the hands of Mary--this time, however, in heaven.At the time of her death, veryfew people knew that Catherinewas the one who brought theMiraculous Medal to the world.More at the Vincentian Encyclopedia
Source“The Story of St. Catherine”http://www.amm.org/AboutAMM/Story%20of%20St%20Catherine.aspx