Catherine Labourés miraculous medal

If you look at my word cloud, you might be forgiven for thinking I’m an expert on George W. Bush, and so if you arrived at my site as someone did the other day with the query “What time did George W. Bush go to bed,” you might actually find the answer, or at least my projection, from my life onto his.

You might also believe I’m an expert on Catholic feast days, in which case you would have been sorely disappointed, as one searcher surely was, to arrive at Celebrating Time yesterday asking about “feast day November 27” and finding, instead, a disquisition on the iphone.

She, poor soul (sorry to be sexist here, but I am assuming it’s a she), tried again today with “catholic feast days 28 november,” so now I feel obligated to oblige, and, happily, one stone can kill both of these birds.

There aren’t too many saints who get two feast days, which puts Catherine Labouré in the august company of Joseph and John the Baptist. It’s her day today, even though she wasn’t martyred or beheaded and didn’t die or be born on this day. In fact, she didn’t do much of anything on November 28 except maybe rest up from her vision of November 27, 1830, when the Virgin Mary appeared and gave her all the specifications for a miraculous medal. “Have a medal struck according to this model,” Mary said. “Those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around their necks. There will be graces in abundance for all who wear it with confidence.”

November 27 thus became the only Catholic feast day for a medal.

Since Catherine was only a postulant nun, she had to be secretly investigated by the Archbishop of Paris, but finally he determined the vision was real, the medal was struck, and all kinds of miracles resulted, including the conversion of a Jewish banker; but the real proof is that Catherine’s body, after she died, was “uncorrupt,” as they say, and you can still see it in Paris at La Chapelle Notre Dame de la Médaille Miraculeuse; whereas, most likely, that Archbishop’s body is long gone.

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