The Immaculate Conception forms the basis of the Catholic religion as it is known today. Therefore, it is natural that a medal would exist which commemorates the miraculous conception and symbolism of the birth of Jesus Christ. The miraculous medals were created by Saint Catherine Laboure, a nun who belonged to the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, after she had a vision of the Virgin Mary. Catholics believe that the medallions confer blessings and intercessions from Mary as long as they are worn with faith and devotion. Millions of people, both Catholic and non-Catholics alike, wear these medals today.
St. Catherine Laboure was the second to last child out of 11 children. Her mother passed away at a young age and she was taken in by her aunts. It is believed that Saint Catherine was a psychic. There are reports of her foretelling some events correctly but missing others. She became a nursing sister after she had a dream about Saint Vincent de Paul. The idea for the miraculous medals was given to her during a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In fact, she had two visions total of Mary, both of which pertained to the development of the medallions.
The first vision came on July 18, 1830. Saint Catherine reports hearing a child urging her to go to the chapel where the Blessed Virgin Mary told her that God wanted her to take on a difficult mission. The second vision occurred on November 27, 1830 and that is when Mary presented her with a series of images to be put on the miraculous medals as well as the saying. Afterwards, Saint Catherine presented the ideas to the priest. Two years later, the priest gave the information to the archbishop who approved the development of the medals. The first medals were struck on June 30, 1832 and distribution began shortly thereafter.
Miraculous medals are said to confer graces upon those who wear them. Today, they are commonly made out of gold or silver. They display the figure of the Virgin Mary on the front and a cross on top of the capital letter M on the back. It is a symbol of devotion to Mary, God, and their son Jesus and makes a great gift for the devout Catholic in your life. You can purchase these medals anywhere religious items or sold or from numerous internet retailers online.