Although Pius XI did not endear himself to womankind with his remark at Catherine Laboure’s beatification ceremony in 1933, he captures a central theme in her life when he said: “To think of keeping a secret for forty-six years and this by a woman.”1 The fact that Catherine Labouré kept her secret for forty-six years created a sense of mystery, not just in the reflections on her life, but during her life. The secret of her identity intrigued her contemporaries. Endless guesses, endless wondering, were made to find the sister who received the apparitions. There was something about someone living close by, maybe in the same house, who had been the favored soul of Our Lady to bring the Miraculous Medal to the world.2
1Joseph Dirvin,C.M., St. Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal (New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1958) 104.
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