On November 27th, 1830, the Virgin Mary appeared to a religious girl named Catherine Labouré (today a Saint), who saw her on top of a globe, carrying in her hands a golden sphere, like an offering to heaven. The Virgin explained that the sphere represented the entire world. In her fingers she had rings that radiated many rays of light, symbolizing the graces that she obtains for those who ask for them. When Catherine asked about those rings from which no light came, Our Lady explained, saddened, that these were graces that were available, but that nobody had requested.
This happened in France, in an era where people were living through war and displacements; times that even today are being lived around the world. Mary, being the maternal eyes of God, is always and forever finding ways to signal to her son Jesus, our Savior, for us. She, like at the wedding feast of Cana, appears in our lives because she knows what we are lacking – that we fall frequently – but that we can lift ourselves up when we place our hope in her son.
The Lord has said: “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) This necessarily implies being clean, immaculate, and free of everything that does not belong to God. In this way, Jesus invites us to conversion, even when we fall, so we may rise again to go to Him. We are pilgrims towards eternal life, we are heavenly citizens, and even though on this road we can halt once in a while to check on ourselves and ask light to be received, we need to keep going upwards, which means toward God.
Perhaps one can think, How can I do this? I am weak… it takes so much effort! Today I tell you: take advantage of those blessed graces that are available which nobody has requested. We need them! Let’s not wait anymore, the graces are there and are dispensed by Mary, “full of grace,” who is my Mother and yours. She is the best inheritance that our Lord left us from the Cross.
Then…what graces are we to ask for? Let’s ask for the graces that Mary – our mother, teacher and model received:
Mother Mary, give me the grace to surrender and submit unquestionably to God’s will and give Him my “yes,” so that He can take charge of my life.
Give me the grace to be aware that nothing is mine; to be like a child with the capacity to enjoy everything and to take possession of nothing, because all belongs to God.
Give me the grace to not interfere with God’s plans. I want my will to disappear so that only the divine Will is done in my life.
Give me the grace to open my heart completely to receive God with happiness. Give me the grace to live in a state of prayer.
Give me the grace to meditate and internalize the word of God, to accomplish the commandments and take advantage of the sacraments.
And lastly, My Mother, give me your grace first to empty me, then to fill me up with God, so I can give Him to others, since nobody can give what they don’t have.
Let’s not forget that Our Lady has promised great blessings to those who carry the miraculous medal, not like an amulet, but with faith and devotion. If you don’t have one, I recommend you find one, ask a priest to bless it, and carry it with you as a testimony of faith and confidence, repeating every day:
“Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who come to you.”
Maria Cristina was born in Santa Marta, Colombia to a Catholic family on the day of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. From this gift from Heaven and through the example of her mother, she took a deep love for the Blessed Virgin Mary to whom she has consecrated her life together with her husband and her two children. She knows that Mary is truly her Mom who helps her in every aspect of life.
At the age of 32, Maria was diagnosed with breast cancer and she began a life full of physical suffering, but it was also a life with much grace and many blessings. It was then, in those moments of loneliness and isolation, that she was able to experience the Love of God and hear His Voice deep in her heart. The miracle of healing occurred and since then Maria has dedicated herself to serving the Lord. She does this by sharing her testimony with others in order to bring hope to suffering souls and by leading and participating in different activities such as retreats, Catholic financial ministry, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and activities that help those most in need. She knows that nothing comes from herself, but that everything she does is a product of Divine Grace. Maria is confident that Jesus lives in her house and that He will never leave!