Miraculous Medal Shrine Reflections Archive

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Fr. Frank Sacks, CM, shares weekly reflections on the spirituality, history, and breathtaking art of the Miraculous Medal Shrine. Click Here to Email Fr. Sacks.


Mary Between St. Vincent and St. Louise
Above and Behind the Virgo Potens Altar
August 22, 2017

 

 

Greetings, Friends of Our Blessed Lady,

Today we take a closer look at the image of Mary in the triptych above and behind the Virgo Potens altar in our Central Shrine.

She stands in a posture of prayer. Her eyes are lifted toward heaven, similar to Mary’s pose in the large Rose Window above the choir loft in the main Chapel. Mary’s right hand is extended in the orans position, the prayer pose with the open palm pointed to heaven in intercessory prayer. For whom is our Blessed Lady praying?

Given the images that flank her, Mary is interceding for the sons and daughters of the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity, the communities founded by St. Vincent and St. Louise. She is fulfilling her promise to St. Catherine that night she knelt next to Our Lady of the Chair. Mary told Catherine: “My child, I particularly love to shed graces upon your Community. I love it very much.” Mary further affirmed: “The protection of God will be ever present in a special way, and St. Vincent will protect you. I will grant you many graces…Have confidence. You will recognize my coming and the protection of God over the Community, the protection of St. Vincent over both Communities. Have confidence; do not be discouraged; I will be with you then.”

Of course, Mary is also interceding for all of us who respond to her invitation to ask for what we need. In time of trouble, as St. Catherine attested, “[Our Lady] pointed with her left hand to the foot of the altar, and told me to come there and to open up my heart, assuring me that I would receive all the consolation I needed.” During the third apparition, Mary promised: “All who wear [the Medal] will receive great graces; they should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for those who wear it with confidence”.

Mary’s left hand strikes a different pose from her right hand; it is lifted higher to heaven, with the palm facing outward as though she is blessing the viewer. It is a fitting pose for her whose intercession brings abundant graces to us through her Son. Catherine reported what Mary had told her: “As to what I should do in time of trouble, she pointed with her left hand to the foot of the altar, and told me to come there and to open up my heart, assuring me that I would receive all the consolation I needed.” The pose she has in the image above the altar suggests Mary is pointing not only to the Christ on the altar but also to God, the source of all blessings. Through Mary’s intercession, then, God and her divine Son bless anyone who approaches her in trust.

Our prayer for this week is the Novena Prayer by which the devotees of Mary call upon her during the Monday Perpetual Novena. We pray:

O Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Mother,
penetrated with the most lively confidence
in your all-powerful and never-failing intercession,
manifested so often through the Miraculous Medal,
we your loving and trustful children
implore you to obtain for us
the graces and favors we ask during this Novena,
if they be beneficial to our immortal souls,
and the souls for whom we pray

(Form your own intentions)

Thank you, Mary, for your protection.
AMEN!

Next week we will take a closer look at the image of ST. LOUISE de MARILLAC on Mary’s left side in the triptych above our Shrine altar.

Thank you, dear friends, for your patronage and especially for your devotion to Mary. May you always remain close to Our Blessed Lady.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.


The Triptych Above and Behind the Virgo Potens Altar
August 15, 2017

 

Greetings, Friends of Our Blessed Lady,

Today we shift our focus to the striking triptych above and behind the Virgo Potens altar. Mary stands in an attitude of prayer between the images of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac.

Mary appeared to St. Catherine Labouré when she was a novice at Rue du Bac in Paris. At the time she was preparing to make her vows in the community of the Daughters of Charity, co-founded by St. Vincent and St. Louise some 200 years before the appearances of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.

In her extended conversation with St. Catherine in July of 1830, the Virgin of the Chair had expressed her love for both religious communities founded by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. Mary called for a reformation of the communities and promised her protection. Catherine later recounted this conversation:[1]

My child, I particularly love to shed graces upon your Community; I love it very much. It pains me that there are great abuses in regularity, that the rules are not observed, that there is much relaxation in the two Communities.

In 1830, when Our Lady visited St. Catherine, the Communities of St. Vincent were passing through the painful days of reorganization that followed the French Revolution and the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte. Mary continued:

Tell that to him who has charge of you, even though he is not the superior. He will be given charge of the Community in a special way; he must do everything he can to restore the rule in vigor. Tell him for me to guard against useless reading, loss of time, and visits. When the rule will have been restored in vigor, a community will ask to be united to your Community. Such is not customary, but I love them; God will bless those who take them in; they will enjoy great peace.

Our Lady was speaking of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Sisters of Charity from Emmitsburg, Maryland, who petitioned for union with St. Vincent’s Community and were admitted in 1849. This large American religious community was one of the six communities which trace their origins back to Mother Seton. Mary continued:

The Community will enjoy a great peace; it will become large. But, there will be an abundance of sorrows, and the danger will be great. Yet, do not be afraid; tell them not to be afraid. The protection of God will be ever present in a special way – and St. Vincent will protect you. (Now the Blessed Virgin was very sad.) I shall be with you myself. I always have my eye upon you. I will grant you many graces. The moment will come when the danger will be extreme. It will seem that all is lost. At that time, I will be with you. Have confidence. You will recognize my coming and the protection of God over the Community, the protection of St. Vincent over both Communities. Have confidence; do not be discouraged; I will be with you then.

Given Mary’s words to St. Catherine it is very fitting that our Central Shrine honoring Mary’s apparitions to St. Catherine should include the beautiful triptych of Mary, Vincent and Louise.  With the establishment of Associations of the Miraculous Medal throughout the world, Vincentian priests, brothers and Daughters of Charity continue to promote devotion to Mary of the Miraculous Medal. In more recent years, many other groups that look to St. Vincent for their inspiration to serve the poor have promoted the Perpetual Novena in Honor of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.

Our prayer for this week was perhaps the earliest one celebrating the Miraculous Medal. It was composed by St. Maximilian Kolbe. In 1917, he founded a community, the Militia of the Immaculata (MI for short). This organization still exists today. Its mission is “To Lead Every Individual with Mary to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus”.[2] With St. Maximilian we pray:

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to you. Amen.

Next week we will take a closer look at the image of Mary that is flanked by Saints Vincent and Louise in the triptych above our Shrine altar. Thank you, dear friends, for your patronage and especially for your devotion to Mary. May you always remain close to Our Blessed Lady.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.

 

[1] Source for quotes: The Lady of the Miraculous Medal by Rev. Joseph I. Dirvin, CM, cited in http://www.miraclesofthechurch.com/2010/11/miraculous-medal-apparition-of-virgin.html

[2] http://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/miraculous-medal-prayers.html


Silver Mosaics of the Miraculous Medal
August 8, 2017

 

Greetings, Friends of Our Blessed Lady,

We have spent some weeks describing the ornamentation on the Virgo Potens altar in our Central Shrine. Two more images remain to be discussed: the two silver mosaics that flank the striking statue of Our Lady of Grace. They portray the last apparition of Mary and round out the symbolism for all three apparitions memorialized in the Shrine altar.

In her extended conversation on July 18, 1830, the Virgin of the Chair promised Sister Catherine Labouré: “My child, the good God wishes to charge you with a mission.”  The full meaning of this mission became clear only four months later. On November 27, 1830, on the occasion of the second apparition of the Virgin of the Globe, Catherine witnessed a shift to the third appearance. The golden ball that Mary was holding disappeared, and her hands turned down in the pose of Our Lady of Grace. As Catherine later reported:

At this moment, I was so overjoyed that I no longer knew where I was. A frame, slightly oval in shape, formed ‘round the Blessed Virgin. Within it was written in letters of gold: ‘O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.’ The golden ball disappeared in the brilliance of the sheaves of light bursting from all sides; the hands turned out, and the arms were bent down under the weight of the treasures of grace obtained. Then the voice said: ‘Have a Medal struck after this model. All who wear it will receive great graces; they shall wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for those who wear it with confidence.’

Catherine went on to describe a final change:

At this instant, the tableau seemed to me to turn, and I beheld the reverse of the Medal: a large M surmounted by a bar and a cross: beneath the M were the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the one crowned with thorns, the other pierced with a sword.

Images of this Medal appear throughout our Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. They are posted outside with the metal sign identifying “The Miraculous Medal Shrine.” One sees an image of the reverse side painted on the archway over our Central Shrine. The Medal is also etched into the glass that separates the chapel narthex (foyer) from the nave (main body) of the building. In the Lower Shrine, two striking replicas rest in an attractive glass display case. A large ornate replica hangs near the Lower Shrine as a striking memorial of the third and final apparition of Mary.

In time, we will discuss further the meaning of the images appearing on the Miraculous Medal. For the present, we simply point out that the silver mosaics of the Medal on either side of Mary’s statue complete this striking altar that memorializes all three apparitions to St. Catherine. The front mosaics depict the first two apparitions, and the statue of Our Lady of Grace flanked by the silver mosaics of the Medal complete the symbolism.

Our prayer this week comes from the Perpetual Novena in Honor of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. We pray:

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who, for the accomplishment of Your greatest works,
have chosen the weak things of the world,
that no flesh may glory in Your sight:
and who, for a better and more widely diffused belief
in the Immaculate Conception of Your Mother,
have wished that the Miraculous Medal 
be manifested to Saint Catherine Labouré,
grant, we beseech You, that filled with like humility,
we may glorify this mystery by word and work.

AMEN.

Next week we shall move our attention to the triptych above and behind the altar, namely, the large mosaics of Mary flanked by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac.

Thank you, dear friends, for your patronage and especially for your devotion to Mary. May you always remain close to Our Blessed Lady.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.


The Peacocks Above the Shrine Tabernacle
August 1, 2017

 

 

Greetings, Friends of Our Blessed Lady,

Our previous reflections described appointments adorning the Virgo Potens altar in our Central Shrine. The front mosaics and the striking statue of Our Lady of Grace portray the three apparitions of Mary to St. Catherine Labouré. Last week, we described the symbolism of the pelican that adorns the door to the tabernacle. Today, we take a closer look at two other symbols that appear above the tabernacle door: a host flanked by two peacocks. As we shall see, there is a very strong connection between these two symbols.

Peacocks often appear in early Christian art as a symbol of the Resurrection and Eternal Life. There are various levels of meaning in the symbolism of peacocks.

The ancients believed that the peacock’s flesh never decayed. St. Augustine refers to this in his classic work, The City of God. In chapter four, he gives examples from nature that prove bodies may remain unconsumed and alive in fire. One example he cites is the peacock: He asks, “For who but God, the Creator of all things, has given to the flesh of the peacock its antiseptic property?” Augustine goes on to describe an experience he had after dining on peacock. He says, “And after [a slice of the peacock] had been laid by for 30 days and more, it was still in the same state; and a year after, the same still, except that it was a little more shriveled, and drier.” No wonder, then, that Christians saw the peacock as a symbol of eternal life.

In medieval times it was also thought that peacocks shed their feathers every year and that the new ones that grow are more beautiful than the older ones. Along with this idea, medieval legends included the theory that the gorgeous colors of the peacock’s feathers came from a special diet. The peacocks could kill and eat poisonous snakes; they ingested the poison, transforming it into the colors of their feathers. Thus, people viewed the peacock as an apt symbol of Christ’s Resurrection, since, as Paul states in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “Christ became sin for us on the Cross, but then rose from the dead with his glorified body and wounds having conquered the powers of evil.”

One recent commentator adds to this symbolism.[1] During a normal day, peacocks are fairly ordinary looking. And yet, while they are pecking and clucking like very average birds, a hidden splendor lies underneath. The symbolism applies analogously to Christian life. When we see a Christian walking along the street next to someone who has never been baptized, we usually cannot tell the difference. Our interior splendor as followers of Christ will only become fully visible when we enter into Eternal Life and come to share fully in Christ’s own glorious Resurrection. At that point, the hidden magnificence of each Christian’s soul will be revealed, to the wonderment of all, similar to a sudden splendor revealed whenever the peacock spreads its magnificent feathers.

The peacock also symbolizes the cosmos. The spray of its ornate feathers has many “eyes,” suggesting the vault of heaven dotted by the sun, moon, and stars.

The peacocks in our mosaic above the Tabernacle, then, portray the Resurrected and Eternal Christ, the one who will never die again, the Lord of the cosmos — Christ who is embodied in the consecrated host flanked by the peacocks. The Eucharistic Christ is the source of our Eternal Life. All of us believers already possess life in Christ; however, the full splendor of Christ’s glory remains hidden. The full glory of God within us has yet to be revealed in the life to come. The consecrated host represents the Real Presence of Christ. In John’s Gospel, Jesus proclaimed: “I am the Bread of life. Whoever eats this Bread will live forever” (Jn. 6). The Blessed Host and the peacocks speak of resplendent Eternal Life.

Our prayer this week celebrates Eternal Life in the Body and Blood of Christ. Let us pray:

Lord Jesus, we praise and thank you
for shedding your precious Blood to wash away our sins.
Continue in this world to nourish us with your sacred Body and Blood,
so we might eventually come to enjoy Eternal Life in Heaven
where all shall celebrate the glory You share with us,
Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and all the Angels and Saints,
forever and ever.
AMEN.

Next week we shall discuss the final images that adorn the Virgo Potens altar in our Central Shrine — the silver mosaic replicas of the Miraculous Medal.

Thank you, dear friends, for your patronage and especially for your devotion to Mary. May you always remain close to Our Blessed Lady.


The Door of the Tabernacle
July 25, 2017

 

 

Greetings, Friends of Our Blessed Lady,

In recent reflections we have described the Virgo Potens altar in our Central Shrine, specifically the front mosaics and the beautiful image of Our Lady of Grace that surmounts the altar. Today, we reflect on the beautiful tabernacle that rests on the Virgo Potens altar. It’s made of precious metal with dramatic highlights. One of these is the face of the tabernacle door.

The cover to the tabernacle boasts a bronze carving depicting a pelican caring for her young. She is displayed opening her breast and feeding her chicks with her maternal blood. A similar relief carving appears on the marble front below our new tabernacle in the main sanctuary.

In medieval Europe, the pelican was thought to be particularly attentive to her young, to the point of spilling her own blood by piercing her breast to feed her starving chicks when no other food was available. As a result, the pelican came to be seen as a symbol of the Passion of Jesus and of the Most Blessed Eucharist.

A reference to the mystical characteristic of the pelican is contained in a well-known hymn composed by St. Thomas Aquinas; it’s entitled the Adoro te devote. The sixth verse describes Christ as the loving, Divine Pelican able to wash away our sins with one drop of His blood. One English translation of St. Thomas’ hymn renders verse six as follows:

Lord Jesus, Good Pelican,
wash my filthiness and clean me with your blood,
One drop of which can free
the entire world of all its sins.

The ancient legend of the pelican had some variations. The image of the pelican was adopted into Christianity by the 2nd century as evidenced in The Physiologus, which was a Christian adaptation of popular animal legends and symbols.

The text describes this variant: “The little pelicans strike their parents, and the parents, striking back, kill them.” The text continues: “But on the third day, the mother pelican strikes and opens her side and pours blood over her dead young. In this way they are revivified and made well. So, the text goes on, “Our Lord Jesus Christ says also through the prophet Isaiah: ‘I have brought up children and exalted them, but they have despised me’ (Is 1:2).” The text then strikes the parallel: “We struck God by serving the creature rather than the Creator. Therefore, He deigned to ascend the cross, and when His side was pierced, blood and water gushed forth unto our salvation and eternal life.”

Our Blessed Lady, in her conversation with Saint Catherine Labouré, encourages us to “come to the altar,” and there to encounter her Divine Son who shed His blood for us. Mindful of the rich symbolism of the pelican on our Shrine tabernacle, let us pray:

Lord Jesus, we praise and thank you
for shedding your precious Blood to wash away our sins.
Continue in this world to nourish us with your sacred Body and Blood
so we might come to enjoy the fullness of life
with you and all the Angels and Saints,
forever and ever.
AMEN.

Next week we will reflect on the peacocks who also adorn our tabernacle in the Central Shrine.

Thank you, dear friends, for your patronage and especially for your devotion to Mary. May you always remain close to Our Blessed Lady.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.


The Statue of Our Lady of Grace in the Miraculous Medal Shrine
July 18, 2017

 

 

Greetings, Friends of our Blessed Lady,

Last week we spoke about the Virgo Potens altar in our Central Shrine. Today we address very central religious image, the centerpiece of the altar; it is a truly dramatic image of Our Lady of Grace that surmounts the Virgo Potens altar. This statue calls to mind the third of the apparition of Mary to St. Catherine Labouré.

In our previous reflection we focused on the second apparition of Mary to St. Catherine: Our Lady of the Globe, also known as the Virgo Potens. That vision appeared to Catherine above the sanctuary in the chapel at Rue de Bac. As Catherine continued to pray before the image it gradually shifted to the third apparition.

St. Catherine saw the globe in Mary’s hands disappearing as she dropped both her hands in the pose of Our Lady of Grace. Rays of light emanated from several rings on her fingers. Other rings did not emit rays of light; Catherine came to understand that the rings without rays represented graces that Mary wishes to bestow on us, her children, but we are not asking for her help.

Eventually we will discuss the relationship of this pose of Mary to the medal that she commissioned be struck in her honor. For the present, we meditate on this gorgeous Shrine statue of Our Lady of Grace. We see Mary standing in the pose that reflects the beginning of the third apparition of Mary to St. Catherine. Thus, the Virgo Potens altar incorporates in stone images of all three Marian apparitions: two of the front mosaics depict the Madonna of the Chair and the Madonna of the Globe (the Virgo Potens). The statue of Our Lady of Grace surmounting the altar depicts the beginning of the third apparition.

It has been said that the McBride Brothers of Philadelphia, the builders of the Shrine, donated the dramatic statue of Mary in honor of their mother. The imported Italian Carrara marble from which this statue has been chiseled is of first quality marble, so rare and so expensive that seldom is it used for statuary.

A pamphlet celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of The Central Association of the Miraculous Medal describes the statue as follows:

For tender beauty and maternal loveliness this statue is an unsurpassed masterpiece. Mary’s outstretched arms seem to be hungering for sinners – to console them, and for the sorrowing – to comfort them. Her downcast eyes of mercy seem to invite only confidence and love. She seems to dwell there in tranquil peace, just for the sake of her children, to solve their problems, to bind up their broken hearts, to send them on their way with new hope and new courage.

Small wonder that Mary’s children flock to her in our Shrine, not only every Monday on her Novena days, but also at other times of pilgrimage and prayer in our public chapel. Our Novena Prayer includes the Memorare. Originally composed by an unknown 15th-century hymnist, this popular Marian prayer was a favorite of St. Francis de Sales, a contemporary of St. Vincent de Paul. It expresses our confidence this week in Mary’s intercession. Let us pray:

Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your assistance,
or sought your intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
we fly unto you,
O Virgin of Virgins, our Mother;
to you we come;
before you we kneel,
sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not our petitions,
but in your clemency hear and answer them.
AMEN.

Our reflection next week will focus on the beautiful tabernacle that rests on the Virgo Potens altar.

Thank you, dear friends, for your patronage and especially for your devotion to Mary. May you always remain close to Our Blessed Lady.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.


The Virgo Potens Altar in the Miraculous Medal Shrine
July 11, 2017

 

 

Greetings, Friends of Our Blessed Lady,

Last week I introduced you to our new series entitled, “The Miraculous Medal Shrine Reflections.” As promised, we will be looking at specific religious images in our gorgeous Shrine of the Miraculous Medal, and eventually we will reflect on other images in the larger Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.

Today we take a close look at the altar in our Marian Shrine. It is made of Pavanazzo marble and named in honor of the “Virgo Potens,” one of the titles for Mary from the Litany of Loreto. More importantly, the title, translated as “Virgin Most Powerful,” reflects one of the Marian apparitions to St. Catherine Labouré.

Recall that Mary appeared to St. Catherine three times. The second appearance took place on November 27, 1830. Catherine, along with companion novices, was at evening prayer in their chapel at the Rue de Bac in Paris. Mary appeared above the sanctuary to the right. She was holding a globe in her hands. For that reason, this vision has come to be remembered as Our Lady of the Globe.

At that time, France was enduring great sufferings, as was the whole world of 1830. Catherine understood that the globe in Mary’s hands represented France in particular and the whole world in general. Mary promised to intercede for anyone who asked for her help. She stood on a much larger globe with her foot crushing the head of a serpent. The image portrays Mary as intercessor for the suffering of the world; she is the one victorious over Satan.

The first apparition of Our Lady to St. Catherine also appears on the altar front, to the left of the dedicatory title mosaic. It recalls our Lady of the Chair. On the evening of July 18, 1830, Catherine spent some two hours in conversation with Mary. She knelt beside Mary seated in a chair. Her hands rested on Mary’s lap. Among other things, our Lady promised Catherine she would give her a mission. Eventually, we will reflect further on this mission to have a medal struck.

Replicas of this medal also appear in subtle silver mosaics on the Virgo Potens altarpiece to the left and right of a very striking statue of Our Lady of Grace. Our next reflection will comment further on this beautiful statue. For the present, we call upon Mary, Virgin most powerful, to intercede for us who have recourse to her.

Our prayer this week is taken from An Act of Consecration to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal which we offer as part of our Monday Novenas. We call upon Mary, the Virgo Potens, our most powerful Mother:

O most powerful Virgin, Mother of our Savior,
Keep us close to you every moment of our lives.
Obtain for us, your children, the grace of a happy death;
so that, in union with you, we may enjoy the bliss of heaven forever.
AMEN.

Thank you, dear friends, for your patronage, and especially for your devotion to Mary. May you always remain close to Our Blessed Lady.


Introduction to a New Series
July 4, 2017

 

 

Welcome, everyone! My name is Fr. Frank Sacks, CM. I presently serve as one of the Associate Directors at the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal. Allow me to introduce you to our new series; it’s entitled Miraculous Medal Shrine Reflections (or the shorter version: Shrine Reflections). In the weeks ahead, we’ll share the beauty of our Miraculous Medal Shrine, as well as additional images in our larger Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.

The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception was dedicated in 1875; originally it was built as a chapel for our Vincentian seminary established some years earlier on the same campus as the Chapel. The Bishop at the time asked our Vincentian Community to provide access for the public. Catholics who worshiped here eventually built their own basilica-sized Church nearby. To this day, our building here has retained the title “Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.”

Typical of all our Vincentian churches, there is a side chapel in the eastern transept, and it honors the Holy Agony. This side Chapel focuses here on Mary’s role in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Moving to the right, one sees the large sanctuary dedicated to Our Blessed Lady. The large paintings of the Annunciation, the Immaculate Conception, and the Birth of Christ emphasize Mary’s place in God’s plan of Salvation.

Moving further right past the altar dedicated to St. Vincent de Paul, one sees the more recent Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. This gorgeous Shrine replaced the original Shrine of St. Vincent that was located in the western transept. The Miraculous Medal Chapel was dedicated in 1927, 12 years after the establishment of the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal.

It is this holy Shrine of Our Blessed Lady that remains the central focus for our devotion to our Lady. Every Monday, we celebrate eight Novena services at the Shrine, including Novena Prayers to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal with Mass, Benediction, and opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Throughout this Miraculous Medal Shrine and the larger Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, there are inspiring frescoes, mosaics, paintings, stained glass windows, marble statues and altars and many other religious artifacts. Most of these in some way give honor to Our Blessed Lady. In the weeks ahead I will be reflecting with you on these images.

Each week, we will examine one of the images. Each will lead to some spiritual reflection concluding with an appropriate prayer of the week. Devotees of the Shrine will be encouraged to email me their own thoughts and prayers. Please keep our Shrine Reflections in your prayers. Thank you for your interest and especially for your devotion to Mary. May you always remain close to Our Blessed Lady.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.