By Anne Kurian-Montabone

The statue of the effigy of the “Miraculous Medal” of Rue du Bac (Paris), which Pope Francis blessed last November 11, made a stopover in the Vatican’s Saint Anne’s parish, at the start of its year-long pilgrimage in Italy.

 Brought by Swiss guards, the statue was received at Saint Anne’s on Saturday, December 12, and Sunday, December 13, reported L’Osservatore Romano. During Masses and Rosaries recited this weekend in the church, the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul distributed medals, in the year of the 190th anniversary of the Marian apparitions to Saint Catherine Laboure (1806-1876).

At the initiative of the religious Family of Saint Vincent de Paul, from December 1, 2020, to November 22, 2021, the statue will tour all the regions of the Peninsula, as a sign of comfort in the time of the coronavirus.

The Virgin Mary appeared to Catherine Laboure, a Daughter of Charity, during the night of July 18-19, 1830: “My child,” She said to her, “the times are evil. Sorrows will come upon France . . . The whole world will be afflicted with tribulations. But come to the foot of the altar. Graces will be shed there on all who ask for them. Graces will be shed especially on all the people who ask for them . . . A moment will come when the danger will be great; one will think all is lost. I will be with you, have confidence . . . Have confidence, do not be discouraged, I will be with you.”

The Holy Virgin appeared again to Catherine on November 27, 1830, in the chapel of her convent. She had a small golden globe in her hands surmounted by a cross, representing “the whole world, France, and each person in particular.” Rays issued from her hands, “symbol of graces that I spread over people that ask me for them,” explained the Virgin Mary. Catherine then saw the invocation “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee, and she heard a voice requesting: “Have a medal struck on this model. The people that wear it with confidence will receive great graces.”

Despite the health restrictions imposed by the fight against the pandemic, it will be a question of showing that Mary makes herself close to these communities in greatest difficulty: places of suffering, hospitals, rest homes, places where the poor are helped and supported, beginning by the South, Campania, Calabria, Sicily, Puglia.

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