July 18-19, 1830: First Apparition of Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Catherine Labouré

by | Jul 19, 2019 | Association of the Miraculous Medal, Formation

On July 18, 1830 (the eve of the feast of Saint Vincent, at that time) Catherine prayed that, through his intercession, her desire to see the Blessed Virgin Mary would be fulfilled. Previously, at the death of her mother when Catherine was a child, she asked Mary to be her mother.

At eleven-thirty that night, Catherine heard someone call her name. A mysterious child stood at the foot of her bed and asked her to get up. “Sister Labouré, come to the chapel. The Blessed Virgin is waiting for you,” he said. Catherine dressed and followed the child, who was “bringing rays of brightness wherever he passed.” Having arrived in the chapel, St. Catherine stopped near the priest director’s chair in the sanctuary. She then heard a sound “like the rustle of a silk dress.” Her little guide then said, “Here is the Blessed Virgin.” Catherine hesitated. But, the child repeated in a stronger tone of voice, “Here is the Blessed Virgin.” Catherine rushed to the chair and knelt at the feet of the Blessed Virgin, who was seated on the chair, and Catherine rested her hands on the knees of the Mother of God. “There, a period of time passed, the sweetest of my life. It would be impossible for me to say what I experienced. The Blessed Virgin told me how I should behave towards my spiritual director and also several other things.” The Blessed Virgin pointed to the altar where the tabernacle was and said, “Come to the foot of this altar. Here, graces will be given to all who ask for them with confidence and fervor.” Catherine’s new mission was to spread this promise of God and Mary to the world. Also, Mary asked for the establishment of a Confraternity of the Children of Mary. Catherine’s confessor, Father John Mary Aladel, C.M., would accomplish this request on February 2, 1840.

Source: International Miraculous Medal Association

Recently, I was at our Motherhouse […] they showed us the hallway that St. Catherine walked down to get from her dormitory to the chapel. That was where I felt closest to her. I thought of her daily routine of walking up and down the hallway– all the things she must have done as a Seminary Sister at the Motherhouse.

“God wishes to charge you with a mission.” Thank you, St. Catherine for living our that mission each day in your call, not only as a visionary of the Blessed Mother, but also in your daily service as a caretaker for those who could no longer care for themselves.

– from a post by Sister Catherine Brown, D.C. on the Spirit of Charity blog


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