St. Catherine Labouré was born on May 2, 1806 in France as the ninth of eleven children to Pierre and Madeleine Labouré.
Catherine’s mother died in 1815, leaving her 9-year-old daughter with the task of running the household. Catherine returned home after her mother’s funeral and purchased a statue of the Blessed Virgin. “Now you will be my mother,” she whispered, clutching it tight.
Catherine was known as a quiet and practical youngster growing up, while being incredibly religious.
A couple of years after her mother’s death, Catherine had a dream about an old priest motioning her to a room full of sick people. “Taking care of the sick is a noble act. God has plans for you. Don’t forget about that.”
Catherine noticed a picture of the old priest on the wall during a visit to the Daughters of Charity hospital years later. She realised it belonged to St. Vincent de Paul, their founder. Catherine decided she wanted to join the Order of St. Vincent de Paul right away.
Catherine Labouré entered the Daughters of Charity noviciate in January 1830.
Months later, on July 19, 1830, Catherine woke from her sleep after hearing a child’s voice calling her to the chapel as the Blessed Virgin Mary was waiting for her.
The door to the chapel swung open as Catherine approached, revealing a dazzling light. Catherine was told by the Blessed Virgin that she would be given a mission with all the graces she needed to achieve it.
According to Our Lady, “God wishes to entrust you with a task. You will be contradicted, but do not be concerned; you will have the grace to accomplish what is required. Tell your spiritual director all that is going on inside of you. The times are bad in France and around the world.”
Catherine was visited by the Blessed Mother for the second time during nighttime meditations in November 1830. She appeared inside an oval frame, standing on a globe, with light rays emanating from her hands towards the globe. The words “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee” were written around the frame.
Mary requested that Catherine take these images to her father confessor, Father Jean Marie Aladel, and inform him that they should be set on medallions. “All who wear them will be bestowed with immense blessings.”
The priest initially did not believe Catherine, but after two years, he told the Archbishop about her experience. The Archbishop had 2,000 medals made.
It was reported that the medals were distributed so quickly and successfully that it was miraculous.
Catherine Labouré dedicated the next 40 years of her life to caring for the old, the sick, and the disabled.
Catherine died on December 31, 1876, at the age of 70. Her remains were enclosed in glass and placed beneath the side altar in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Paris.
After her body was exhumed in 1933, it was discovered to be incorrupt. On May 28, 1933, Pope Pius XI beatified her, and on July 27, 1947, Pope Pius XII canonised her.
St. Catherine Labouré is frequently depicted wearing the Daughters of Charity habit and carrying the Miraculous Medal.
St. Catherine Labouré is the patron saint of the sick, the aged, and the Miraculous Medal. On November 28th, her feast day is observed.[continues https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=266]
Source: Catholic Online. 2021. St. Catherine Laboure – Saints & Angels – Catholic Online. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=266. [Accessed 28 November 2021].
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