What’s it like to be a guide at the rue duBac?

by | Nov 18, 2011 | Association of the Miraculous Medal, Daughters of Charity, Vincentian Family | 4 comments

The international site of the Daughters of Charity offers the Testimony of a Volunteer at the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity, Paris

 

(Each day the chapel is visited by thousands of pilgrims, notably on the Marian Feasts. Both men and women bring bouquets of flowers to the altar, offering their devotion to the Blessed Virgin. As soon as the priest enters the Sanctuary he genuflects on the steps of the altar before the Tabernacle, just like the invitation from Mary in 1830, “Come to the foot of this altar.” This proves that her voice continues to resonate and that there is always someone who listens attentively.)

“Providentially I was born close to the time of the canonization of Catherine Labouré, in the arrondissement of the chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal where my family lived. Was this a sign?

“As a young girl I went with my grandmother to the chapel where she confided her sufferings and pains, but especially her hope, because my grandfather had multiple sclerosis and was progressively becoming paralyzed. She never lost hope, knowing that the Blessed Virgin always walks along our side, that she would receive the graces she requested. She wore a miraculous medal until the end of her life. Family, friends, all received numerous medals. These medals are still a help and support, then as now, to turn to Mary. They are a sign that we welcome into our daily lives.

“From the time that I could, my steps took me to “rue du Bac:” as an adolescent, a student, and later in my professional life. Today it is my great pleasure, a grace, to be able to serve as a volunteer in this place of pilgrimage where people come from the five continents – the only place of Marian apparitions in Paris. It is a humble mission linked to the message of the Blessed Virgin: to welcome the faithful and pilgrims to the Medal office where we receive numerous poignant testimonies: cures, finding employment, reconciliation, grandparents upset at the choice of their children and grandchildren. Despite the large number of people, Mary is there, teaching me patience, helping me to listen, to share, to smile. Each one is handed over to the hands of the Lord. Those who go into the chapel for the first time, moved to tears, feel that something inexpressible has happened in the depths of their being, in their heart: the presence of Mary. She brings them to her beloved Son.

“Tuesdays and Saturdays, “my service” brings me to the chapel. As a member of the Chapel team I can testify to the intensity of prayer of the people whose great faith supports me. There are so many who pray and give thanks at the foot of the altar, without distinction, without exception. They come to this place and they leave differently! I also am thankful at times for the illumination in the hearts of those who suffer.

“I am particularly grateful for the sharing, the welcome, the support in moments of joy and pain, the availability and the willingness to listen that is offered to the volunteers by the Sisters. The chapel remains a privileged place, a source for my spiritual life.

“I would like to give a moving testimony: one Saturday, after the 4PM rosary, there was a very young man praying at the foot of the altar. When he got up he saw me and said, “I am seriously sick and I prayed to Mary to protect me and to obtain graces for me. I confess that I am Muslim but I love the Virgin. I attended the rosary, thank you.”

“It is not me who should be thanked but Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.”

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4 Comments

  1. Georgia Hedrick

    Where I work out, CURVES, electricity is powering the circuit. When we have a power outage, I keep on going. When the young girl in charge, asked me, how do I know how long to keep on going on each machine when there is no power, I told her my counting method. “It is two Hail Marys on the machines, and one and a half Hail Mary on the jogging boards.” She asked ‘what a ‘Hail Mary’. I taught her the prayer. She said: ‘I am Muslim but I love that prayer. Let me get paper and pen and write it down as you say it.’ So, she got what she needed and I prayed the Hail Mary a loud. She copied it.

    A short time later she left that job so as to go to college. She gave me some curved toed shoes her grandmother had given her in Turkey. I wished her a ‘Hail Mary’ as she left.

    I learned: Mary reaches everywhere. gh

  2. Sister Jean Thomas Dwyer dc (JT)

    Guess I’ll always think of you as Alma…
    what a great story! Simplicity… keep on spreading the love of Jesus and Mary.

    Time stamp on your email says 3:39 pm on 11-21, but I think you are in California and it is only 8:16 am there as I write this so I’m confused!

    • Beth

      About the time stamp — I think the server time is set to GMT. John is actually in eastern time. But, since we have readers around the world, GMT seemed reasonable!

    • Georgia Hedrick

      Yo, Jean Thomas! And so I will always think of you! Lots of retired DCs and former DCs still call me: Alma. I still love the name.

      I am actually in Reno, NV. At 72, closer and closer I come to heaven and to Mary and to the wonder of it all!

      Hail Mary and Peace to the world–or so I wish. Alma

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