Lent 2023: Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, With Father Timothy V. Lyons, CM

by | Mar 30, 2023 | Formation

In this video, Fr. Timothy V. Lyons, CM, Rector of The Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, discusses the apparition of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and reflects on how we can embrace the Blessed Mother’s example during Lent.



In 1830, the Blessed Mother appears three times in the Chapel of the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity, to St. Catherine Labouré. Catherine was a novice to the Daughters at that time. On the evening of July 18, in 1830, an angelic child comes to the bedside of St. Catherine, stirs her from her sleep, tells her that the Blessed Mother wants to see her, and leads her to the chapel of the motherhouse there. And the chapel is candlelit, ablaze with light, and Catherine hears a rustle of a silk gown, and that’s the indication that the Blessed Mother is present. And she’s sitting in a chair in the sanctuary and Catherine goes forward and kneels at her side and places her hands in her lap. Later, Catherine describes that experience with the Blessed Mother, that conversation she had that night, as the sweetest moment in her life. The Blessed Mother that night reveals to Catherine that God has a mission for her. But, she doesn’t reveal the mission itself. That would be disclosed later.

Four months later, November 27 the same year, Catherine is in prayer in the afternoon with her sisters, late afternoon, and she hears that same rustle of the silk gown. And she turns and she sees this incredibly beautiful image of Mary with her arms extended and rays of beautiful light coming from gems that she was wearing on her fingers. She sees around that image the words “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.” As this image takes shape, it reverses itself and Catherine sees what we have come to know as the Miraculous Medal. She comes to understand that her mission is to have a medal struck, and that those who wear the medal around their neck and pray to Mary will experience the great power of her intercession. Great graces will flow to them.

So then the image changes completely and Catherine sees the image of the Blessed Mother in what we come to understand, or what we call the Virgo Potens, the All-Powerful Virgin. In that image, Mary is standing on a globe, and holds a globe in her hand, communicating that she holds all the prayer, all the suffering, all the joy and sorrow of the whole human race. So as we spend a little time reflecting on these apparitions, the significance of that for us personally, it means that the very love of God, the very life of God, is coming through her, and has to come to us. For all of us, really, to be touched by Mary’s grace is to allow a transforming love of God to happen in us and to us, and then ultimately through us for all of those who are around.

“Lent: Through the Eyes of Mary” is an original video series produced by the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal in collaboration with the Vincentians of the Eastern Province, USA.