The Miraculous Medal was created in response to a request from the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Meaning of the Miraculous Medal

Mary's Design Symbolizes Key Elements of the Catholic Faith

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November 27 marked the 177th anniversary of the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, popularly known by Catholics the world over as the Miraculous Medal. The Miraculous Medal has a special place in the hearts of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, since it paved the way for the Church's official declaration of the dogma in 1854.

The medal is striking because Our Lady herself presented the familiar design.

The front of the medal depicts Mary standing on a globe, with the head of a serpent beneath her feet. Circling the oval-shaped medal is the signature, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." On the reverse, twelve stars surround a large "M," from which a cross arises. Below the "M," the medal depicts two flaming hearts. The left heart, circled with thorns, represents Jesus. The right heart, pierced by a sword, symbolizes Mary.

An Unlikely Helper
By what intervention and through what vessel did the Blessed Mother convey the design of this medal? As in the case of The Divine Mercy revelations to St. Faustina, a young, unassuming nun in 1930s Poland, once again God chose an unlikely helper. Nearly 100 years earlier, He selected a 24-year-old novice in the community of Sisters known as the Daughters of Charity, Paris, France, in 1830.

The extraordinary story begins on the night of July 18, 1830, when a mysterious child awakens Sister Catherine Laboure. The child leads her to the convent's chapel. There, Sister Catherine sees the Virgin Mary, sitting in a chair. She kneels beside Mary, and rests her hands in the Virgin's lap. The two speak for several hours. During the conversation, Mary promises she will return and give the young nun "a mission." The child leads Catherine back to her bed. Catherine hears the clock strike 2 a.m., July 19.

A little more than four months later, Sister Catherine learns what Mary wants.

During her evening meditation on Nov. 27, 1830, Catherine has a vision of Mary standing in a position similar to the depiction on the medal. Later, the vision changes to include the inscription found on the front side of the medal.

Mary speaks to Catherine, saying, "Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around their neck."

Iconic Attraction
It was as Mary said. The medal's effects were immediate.

The first medals were made in 1832 and distributed throughout Paris. According to the Association of the Miraculous Medal, the blessings that Mary promised "began to shower down" on wearers of the medal. The devotion spread rapidly. In 1836, a Church investigation declared the apparitions to be genuine.

Since Mary asked Catherine to have the medal struck, devotion to the Miraculous Medal has spread the world over, the image having achieved iconic stature.

But what does the medal mean? In answering that, one discovers why it works.

The Front Side
• Mary stands on a globe, crushing a serpent beneath her feet. Describing the original vision, Catherine said the Blessed Mother appeared radiant as a sunrise, "in all her perfect beauty."
• Rays shoot out from Mary's hands, which she told Catherine, "... symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them."
• Words from the vision form an oval frame around Mary: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."
Seen as a matrix, the elements of the front design encapsulate major Marian tenets:

Quality of Our Lady As Illustrated by the Medal
• Mother Her open arms, the "recourse" we have in her
• Immaculate The words, "conceived without sin"
• Assumed into Heaven She stands on the globe
• Mediatrix Rays from her hands symbolizing "graces"
• Our Protection Crushes the serpent (Gn. 3:15)

The Reverse Side
• A cross-and-bar surmounts a large, bold "M"
• 12 stars disperse around the perimeter
• Two hearts are depicted underneath the "M," the left lapped with a crown of thorns, the right skewed by a sword. From each, a flame emanates from the top. Again, employing a grid analysis, we can see how the reverse-side design contains great symbolism reflecting major tenets of the Catholic faith.

Design Element and its Catholic Meaning
• The large letter "M" — Mary as Mother, Mediatrix.
• Cross and bar — Jesus' cross of Redemption.
• 12 stars — 12 Apostles, who formed the first Church.
• Left Heart — The Sacred Heart, who died for our sins.
• Right Heart — The Immaculate Heart, who intercedes for us.
• Flames — The burning love Jesus and Mary have for us.

The Association of the Miraculous Medal, in Perryville, Mo., notes that there is no superstition or magic connected with the Miraculous Medal, nor is it "a good luck charm." Rather, it is "a testimony to faith and the power of trusting prayer. Its greatest miracles are those of patience, forgiveness, repentance, and faith."

To obtain a free Miraculous Medal, write to the Association of the Miraculous Medal, 1811 W. St. Joseph St., Perryville, MO, 63775.

Dan Valenti writes for numerous publications of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, both online and in print. He also authors "Dan Valenti's Journal," which can be found at thedivinemercy.org.

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Joyce Panacci - Jan 12, 2008

Such a beautiful story about the Miraculous Medal- thank you so very much and I now know what every symbol means. Thank You again.

Nilda Pascual, Los Angeles - Jan 13, 2008

I have a great devotion to our Lady of Miraculous Medal so thank you very much for the simplicity of your explanation but very powerful.

Elaine Murray - Feb 10, 2008

Hello,

My son held a Miraculous Medal in his hand throughout nine hours of surgery to remove a bullet from his chest,
unknown to his Doctors or emergency room nurses. In desperation, I had placed the Miraculous Medal alongside him, on his stretcher in the Emergency Room, just before he went into surgery which lasted nine hours. The bullet went through his chest, passed between the two arteries to his heart! The bullet tore though the diaphragm, past the liver and struck the tenth rib, lodging there. The bullet was not removed until a second surgery the next day. However, after the first surgery, the Miraculous Medal was returned to me by the Police Officer who was with my son throughout the surgery. The Officer told me that at the end of the surgery, when the anethestic was removed, that my son's hand relaxed. The Officer told me he heard a clink on the floor and bent down - to pick up a medal! This, after waiting in the surgery for nine hours to get the bullet which was not removed until the next day! The Officer asked me if I had given it to my son and I said that I had placed it on the stretcher near him before he went into surgery. I asked him if her knew what it was and he said that he was married to a Catholic.

I did not know that my son was even aware that I had left the Miraculous Medal on his stretcher. He had found it before surgery and held it in his hand throughout the surgery!! The surgeon later told me himself, that it was truly a miracle that my son lived through this shooting. He was aware that the Medal had been found on the floor when the Surgery was complete.

I believe that Our Lady saved my son, as I prayed with great fervor for my son to be spared. My son did not even know the young man who shot him, he had never met him before the shooting! My son simply tried to prevent the young man who shot him from hurting anyone else and instead he was shot himself!

I have always had a great devotion to Our Lady, my lifetime in fact. My son is very well today and is working with the federal government, he wasted no time on feeling any anger against his assailant, nor did I. The young man, however, who shot my son was incarcerated for the crime. The shooting took place on January 1, 2001.

I wear this Miraculous Medal around my neck to this very day.

I will thank Our Lady always so much for the gift of my son's life.

Elaine Murray

SHAWN - Feb 10, 2008

OH, MARY, CONCEIVED WITHOUT SIN, PRAY FOR US NOW, AND AT THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH!

MAY, MARY, THE IMMACUALTE CONCEPTION BE OUR HEALTH AND PROTECTION! wE LOVE YOU MOTHER!

HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD, PRAY FOR US SINNERS NOW AND AT THE HOUR OF OUT DEATH... - Feb 14, 2008

I LOVE AND ADORE THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. SHE ALWAYS INTERCEEDES FOR ME AND MY FAMILY. HOLY MOTHER, MY PROTECTOR. SHE ALWAYS COMES TO ASSIST ME WITH MY NEEDS. I ALSO PRAY THAT THE HOLY MOTHER SENDS ST. MICHAEL TO PROTECT ME AND MY SON - ALWAYS.
I LOVE THE HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD.
THANK YOU JESUS FOR SENDING HER TO US.

M. O. - Feb 20, 2008

I am a Rosary Apostolate since 2006 - we teach rosaries to the students at school. Last May 15, 2007, the students and Rosary Apostolate presented re-enactment of the request of Mother Mary through St Catherine Laboure re Miraculous Medal. It was such a bautiful play/drama of the young students, while later on we culminated the celebration with the students praying a living rosary.

Luisa from New York - Nov 16, 2008

It's such a simple and beautiful story of the Miraculous Medal. Now I appreciate the Blessed Mother even more in my life and I know she give me graces and favors and protects me. Thank you Mother for your Love and protection.

MARIA-PAZ M. HERRERO - Nov 30, 2008


I have a great devotion to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. In fact, last Nov. 27 I went to the new church of Our Lady. It is not fully finished.
I havee to thank Our Blessed Mother for all the blessings upon me, husband and family.I use her medal everyday and plan to buy a lot of medals to give to anyone in need or not even in need. To always pray to her.
By reading your article, I know more about the medal.
What makes it so great, is, that it was designed by Our Blessed Mother herself.

Mary'sChild - Mar 2, 2009

Thank you for explaining the origin of the Miraculous Medal.I have worn it round my neck for many years without knowing its power.Today I posted 2 medals to friends I made on holiday to Goa,as they expressed a wish to have one seeing the one I wore round my neck.Now I will be able to tell them how our Holy Mother commissioned St Catherine Laboure to have the medal made and its powerful use.As I am extremely concerned about my sons lifestyle and lack of faith in Mary and Jesus I ask the friends of the Immaculate Conception to pray for him.I intend to put the Miraculous Medal into his belongings when he next visits me and I am sure Mary Our Holy Mother willbe his special Mediatrix.She will implore Her Son Jesus and bring back my son to Him.Pray for this miracle please
that Jesus may call him{my son] to serve in His vineyard, and become His
instrument in saving souls like himself.

Donna - Dec 7, 2009

Could someone please tell me where I can buy this Miraculous Medal from???
I have searched the internet but cannot locate this particular one. I wish to purchase quite a few of them. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would be very grateful.

Eileen Rivera - Jun 28, 2011

Thankyou. I have a great devotion to our Blessed Mother. She will always lead you to Jesus. I am going to wear the Miraculous Medal because I beleive Our Lady will help me to hate any kind of sin and the graces I will need to stay away from sin. God Bless.

Jan M - May 28, 2012

I don't remember how I obtained this medal, but I remember that ever since I've had it, I've wondered what the word "recourse" meant. Tonight, I researched the medal and the true meaning. I don't always remember everything, but how did I get this? I am not worthy Lord, but only say the word, and I will be healed"

Pat - Jun 24, 2012

My brother was never without his MM. n I was called to the hospital that he was dying> I arrived too late, he was already gone, but I noticed hhe didn't have his medal around his neck. I asked about it; no one knew where it was. I started looking in my handbag for a rosary when I came across at the very bottom of my purse, a MM, which I had forgotten I had. I put it in his hand.
The day of his funeral, we arrived at the Church early. I stayed at the back until the Mass was ended and then, lo and behold, the Pastor and attendees prayed the Devotion to the Miraculous Medal. I knew this was a sign that John had been met on his deathbed by the Blessed Mother. The funeral Mass for him was so beautiful because I just knew in my heart he was with his Blessed Mother.

cathy - Sep 8, 2012

Thank you for the answers u have given me. I have worn my mary since i was about 17. I am almost 30 now. It was given to me by my mother who just wanted to keep me safe. We are not catholic, but it gave her peace of mind. I can honestly say that because of my mary i have come through some hard times. With my prayes and wishes i keep her in my hands and most of them have been answered.

Miraculous Medal - Sep 23, 2012

Thank you

THE ROSARY AND THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL PRAYER CONNECTION - Oct 13, 2012

I wish to share an observation I made years ago while reciting the rosary during a First Friday evening devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. For some reason I was prompted to count the number of letters in the Miraculous Medal Prayer. At first I used the digits on my hands and came up with two different answers. Something told me to use the Rosary beads instead. The result was that there are 54 letters--the same as the number of beads in the main body of the Rosary, ten Hail Marys and four Our Fathers. A few years ago at Easter, I was thinking about the apparition and realized that the Blessed Virgin was most likely speaking to Saint Catherine in French. I looked up the inscription in French, and it also contains 54 letters. Since then, when I finish each decade, I recite the Miraculous Medal Prayer along with the others.

THE ROSARY AND THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL CONNECTION - Oct 13, 2012

THE ROSARY AND THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL PRAYER
ENGLISH--
"O MARY CONCEIVED WITHOUT SIN PRAY FOR US WHO HAVE RECOURSE TO THEE"
FRENCH--
"O MARIE CONCUE SANS PECHE PRIEZ POUR NOUS QUI AVONS RECOURS A VOUS"

54 letters in the Miraculous Medal Prayer in both languages. Exactly the number of beads in the main body of the Rosary--4 Our Fathers and 50 Hail Marys.

Mary Anne Emily - Nov 26, 2012

It's amazing to know that the feast day of the Miraculous Medal is also my birthday... wow...

Tata Ruiz Troyo - Dec 13, 2012

thank you so much Mother Mary for always protecting my family and my loved ones. we love you so much Mama Mary.

June - Dec 16, 2012

I have a MM medal and the writing around the oval appears to be in an Asian language that I do not read. How can I find out about the writing on my medal?

sharon gordon - Mar 3, 2013

The writing around the medal is,

O Mary Conceived Without Sin, Pray For Us Who Have Resource To Thee.

Thank you for the beautiful story. I have so many different miracles that I have experienced for myself and others.

When praying with the Miracle Medal, place it in the palm of your hand and first say O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have resource to thee 3 times then continue praying.

I give Blessed Miracle Medals on request.
ssgordon0@gmail.com

May God Bless You

sharry - Aug 6, 2013

Someone asked where to purchase. I get mine at Catholicprayercards.org. Good image and made in Italy for under a dollar. They are always fair with me.

Joe - Oct 14, 2013

Mom we love you. We ask for Your graces. Thank you for Your love for us. Lead us always by the hand to Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jenna - Nov 12, 2013

My mother just recently died as of today, but had been in a coma for the past 2 weeks, but my mother did where this necklace around her neck always and I'm not sure where she got it from but it shows all the aspects of this original design except one minor detail where there is a bar piercing through the flames coming out of the 2 hearts on the backside of the pendant. I don't know what this means nor am I able to locate what that means. If anyone has any update on when this may have been made as my mother was an international flight attendant and was close with one of the Vatican priest.

Gisela - Nov 27, 2013

I found my medal and did not know the meaning of the symbols. great story. Thank You!

ann - Nov 27, 2013

I have worn the medal for a long time. I feel the love of Mary and try to imitate her virtues.

Sherwin Dinglasan - Dec 16, 2013

Hello,
Me & my wife received the miraulous medal when we travel to Israel last 2008
We got it in the Church of Cana , one of the Nun gave it to me & my wife as well. for the past years almost two years I lost my medal & i dont know where i put it. every day 'im asking my self where i put that medal.I have a great stoy or i can say a miracle happened to me. I have a wrist watch (two both with damage) one im wearing now & the other just kept in the closet for a year. last two months my friend saw my wrist watch that i'm wearing & with little damage in the surface of the glass & he said what happened, then i consult one of the repair watch how much the cost to change the glass with damage & he said 45 Dirhams & i said ok thanks maybe next time because i dont have money, then one day me & my wife go together the same place where i consult my damage watch & i said to my wife , that is the repair shop that i ask how much will be the cost if he repair my watch then when i check my watch in my left hand the damage is gone really totaly gone, I'm thinking & feel unconfortable ,then I ask my wife to check my other wrist watch that with damage as well since 3 years i'm not wearing that old watch due to broken glass as well. then we go home & my wife searching the old wrist watch & she cannot find in our closet , then i said no problem, but the following day my wife is still searching my old wrist watch & she found it in the other closet & also the great happened she found my missing Miraculous Medalin the same place where she found my other wrist watch, that is missing for a long time. I feel shock because of the watch that healed the damage part that i dont know who done it,& now found again my missing Medal & now i put it again to my neck together with my Holy rosary. & everyday we are praying the holy rosary. Thank you Mama Mary

LiSA - Dec 23, 2013

A friend of my Hubby's who is a deacon gave me this medal when I was recovering from an illness recently. I've been plagued my chronic illnesses throughout my life. Read many prayers, had many medals such as Christiphoer etc but this one gives me hope and reminds me it is a miracle that I am still alive, in itself.

Laddie V Kosmal - Feb 19, 2014

THE ROSARY AND THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL PRAYER CONNECTION - Oct 13, 2012
I wish to share an observation I made years ago while reciting the rosary during a First Friday evening devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. For some reason I was prompted to count the number of letters in the Miraculous Medal Prayer. At first I used the digits on my hands and came up with two different answers. Something told me to use the Rosary beads instead. The result was that there are 54 letters--the same as the number of beads in the main body of the Rosary, fifty Hail Marys and four Our Fathers. A few years ago at Easter, I was thinking about the apparition and realized that the Blessed Virgin was most likely speaking to Saint Catherine in French. I looked up the inscription in French, and it also contains 54 letters. Since then, when I finish each decade, I recite the Miraculous Medal Prayer along with the others.
THE ROSARY AND THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL PRAYER
ENGLISH--
"O MARY CONCEIVED WITHOUT SIN PRAY FOR US WHO HAVE RECOURSE TO THEE"
FRENCH--
"O MARIE CONCUE SANS PECHE PRIEZ POUR NOUS QUI AVONS RECOURS A VOUS"
.
54 letters in the Miraculous Medal Prayer in both languages. Exactly the number of beads in the main body of the Rosary--4 Our Fathers and 50 Hail Marys.

I sent this to the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal and received this reply.
Thank you Laddie. Quite an interesting observation, especially in light of another fact. The year 1954 was observed as a Marian Year in honor of Our Blessed Mother.

Moses Afam Ozoume - Apr 22, 2014

when i was ten years old, i was playing with my younger brother and before i knew it he pushed me, not knowing i was in front of a well, i fell straight into the well, the last thing i remembered was when i was holding the fence of the well crying for help, the rest was after about 30mins when i regained consciousness and discovered i was in a well wth water over my chest, i touched my neck and discovered my miraculous medal is still there, immediately something came over me and i started coming out of a deep well without even knowing what i was doing. i thank God and our Blessed Mother for the miraculous medal. Moses

Larry Bemben - Jul 23, 2014

I bought my medal in France at the chapel where the Blessed Mother appeared to ST. Catherine. I wear it lovingly around my neck with a gold chain. I ask the blessed mother to be good to one of my daughters. I KNOW SHE WILL. I spent much time in Europe. going to churches. They are magnificent. I also went to the largest church in Rome dedicated to Our Lady. I pray to her every day and she will not despair me.

PJ ADKINS - Aug 3, 2014

Thank you for sharing the Beautiful story of Miraculous Mary. Its such a heart touching story. I am Catholic and Love my Religion. God Bless

Samuelmary - Aug 14, 2014

Mother Mary I thank you for all your grace to us sinrs please don't live us. I love you BVM.

Brady - Sep 6, 2014

I love god. He is always there for us. I had a burning suspicion for this medal as I found it. I am glad i found it because I know god had me find it for a reason. It is really amazing.

Lise - Sep 22, 2014

My medal came to me with the house we bought. The ladies were of catholic faith. I found it and started to wear it immediately not knowing the meaning but knew it was Mary. Years later I finally looked it up and was thankful my symbol of faith and love was with me through many difficult times. I intend to make these special gifts for others with the story so they know it is a symbol of Gods love.

Jess - Oct 18, 2014

I was at work yesterday afternoon and I found this medallion, Laying on my cash register counter.. As soon as I saw it I asked people in the store if it belonged to them, no one claimed it as theirs.. I am going through a ruff time for the past year and It felt like it was left there for me for some reason.. Felt his protection powers as soon as I've put it in my pocket.. it's not the same oval shape of the one above, but is in the form of a vintage key instead with mother Mary above in a oval/circle...

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