The last two hundred years, or thereabout, have clearly been marked by the sign of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. As we are celebrating this Monday November 27, the 187th anniversary of the Miraculous Medal, and plan to do a public enrollment in the M.I. this coming December 8, after the evening Mass, let me show how the Immaculate is clearly taking commands of these End Times. This will be a very brief survey of some dates, places and people, and as a preparation to enroll into the army of the Immaculate
Our Lady appeared to Saint Catherine Labourée on November 27, 1830 on a Paris street called La Rue du Bac. Within a mere fifteen years, with more than ten million medals circulating, the medal had earned the name Miraculous because of the incredible graces and miracles obtained through it.
A few hundred yards away from the chapel of the apparition of the Miraculous Medal, on the same street, stands the seminary of the Mission Étrangères de Paris, famous for great martyrs and missionaries who were sent to the Far East. The priest in charge of that chapel, in 1830, was Father Charles Desgenettes. Two years later he was re-assigned to the small parish of Notre-Dame Des Victoires, on the North side of Paris, the district of banks, prostitution and freemasonry. There Our Lady inspired him ‘loudly and clearly’ during a mass on December 3, 1836, to consecrate his parish to her Immaculate Heart. This seems to be the first ever public consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in history. He did perform this consecration a few days later and that church became the most visited Marian Shrine in France until Lourdes. Devotion to Our Lady of Victories, which is Our Lady of the Rosary, which is the Immaculate Heart of Mary, spread all over the world like wild fire.
On January 21, 1842, a rich Jew who had accepted from a friend, as a challenge, to wear the Miraculous Medal around his neck was miraculously converted “à la Saint Paul” in the church of Saint’ Andrea delle Fratte, in Rome. His name is Alphonse Ratisbonne, and he later became a priest and the founder of a religious community working for the conversion of Jews. It just happens that his brother who was already a priest had become Fr. Desgenettes’s assistant just a few months before in 1841 !
1858 is the year of Lourdes where Our Lady said : “I am the Immaculate Conception!”
1917 is Fatima but also the year of the birth of the M.I. The first of the two main events that brought about this foundation is the following. On the morning of January 20, 1917, the superior of the Franciscan convent in Rome reminded the brothers that this day was the 75th anniversary of the famous conversion of Ratisbonne. Hearing this moving story, Friar Maximilian Kolbe, who was studying for the priesthood in Rome resolved there and then to use the Miraculous Medal as a powerful means of his future apostolate. The second event that led to the foundation of the M.I. was the bold masonic procession that took place in the streets of Rome to commemorate the 200th anniversary of freemasonry. (To be continued…)