Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

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The Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Paris, France, is the chapel where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Catherine Labouré in 1830 and requested the creation of the medal which came to be known as the Miraculous Medal. It is also the mother house of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul.

Name[edit]

The Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal is more commonly referred to by its address, "140 rue du Bac", or simply the street on which it is situated, rue du Bac.

History[edit]

In 1813 the construction of a chapel began in the Hôtel de Châtillon. On August 6, 1815 the solemn benediction of the chapel was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was attributed by imperial decree to the Daughters of Charity.

The Chapel at rue du Bac is the site of a number of apparitions said to have been experienced by Catherine Laboure. It was here on three successive days, while at prayer, Saint Vincent de Paul showed her his heart each time in a different colors. The heart appeared white, the colour of peace; then red, the colour of fire; and then black, an indication of the misfortunes that would come upon France and Paris in particular.[1]

Shortly after, Catherine saw Christ present in the Sacred Host, and on June 6, the 1830, feast of the Holy Trinity, Christ appeared as a crucified King, stripped of all his adornments.[1]

In 1830 Saint Catherine Labouré, then 24, received three visits from the Blessed Virgin Mary. On the first visit, the night of 18 July, she received a request that a Confraternity of the Children of Mary be established.[1] Later she was to request the creation of a medal with the following invocation: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." From May 1832 onwards the medal, which is extraordinarily disseminated and is said to convert, protect and perform miracles, is called miraculous by the faithful.

In 1849 the chapel is expanded and in the following years it will know many other transformations. Since 1930, the date of its complete renovation, the chapel is as we know it today.

Today[edit]

Only the tabernacle, which dates back to the seventeenth or eighteenth century, is unchanged since 1815; it comes from the building allocated in 1800 to the Daughters of Charity. It was then to be found in the chapel of the Sisters of Mercy installed there before the French Revolution. Saint Catherine Labouré said that it is in front of the tabernacle that the Blessed Virgin Mary prostrated in the night of July 18 to July 19, 1830 and above it that she was during the third apparition in December 1830. In 1850 an ivory crucifix was placed on top of it.

Pilgrimage[edit]

Tomb of Louise de Marillac

The chapel, as a site of Marian apparition, is a Marian shrine and hence a site of heavy Roman Catholic pilgrimage.

The body of Saint Louise de Marillac and the heart of St Vincent de Paul, founders of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, are kept there. The incorrupt body of St Catherine Labouré, a member of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and a Marian visionary, also lies in a glass coffin at the side altar of the Chapel.

References[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Petit guide de la chapelle Notre-Dame de la Médaille Miraculeuse, Editions du Signe, 2002

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°51′04″N 2°19′26″E / 48.850974°N 2.323770°E / 48.850974; 2.323770