Novena in Preparation for the Immaculate Conception
December 3

In 1830 St. Catherine LabourĂ© received a series of apparitions from Our Lady.  In the second of three apparitions, on November 27, 1930, St. Catherine LabourĂ©, at the time a novice of the daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, saw an image of Mary standing on a globe with rays coming from her hands, a sign of the help she wished to bestow.  Catherine was instructed: Have a medal struck from the image and those who will wear it will receive the protection of the Mother of God.

In 1832 the first 50,000 medals were distributed in Paris and 500,000 in 1834.  By the end of the 19th century, more than 100-million medals covered the entire world.

At her canonization in 1947, Pope Pius XII said that Catherine was one of those "chosen by heaven, to quietly contribute to the enrichment of the definition."  Extraordinary phenomena like those at Catherine's convent at the Rue de Bac in Paris helped strengthen the belief in the Immaculate Conception.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us; form us into your likeness!

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