The history of Catherine Laboure is extraordinary and moving: she reached the point to be one of the most luminous saints of catholicism. Saint Vincent of Paul showed up to her and she saw him for three consecutive days.
She saw Christ present in the Eucharist more than the appearance of bread. She also saw him like a crucified King, wihtout all of his ornaments. She saw Holy Mary that rested her hands over her knees. During this vision, Catherine Laboure, was instructed to model a medallion. This was soon going to be known and venerated as the "Miraculous Medallion". It was reproduced in hundreds od million of copies. It was going to contribute to the renovation of the cult devoted to Mary, and to the revelation of the "Inmaculate Conception".
In spite of such privileges, Catherine believed she was anything: being a disciple of the small path, in fact, no one, except her confessors, knew the identity of her clairvoyance that will continue throught her life. She took charge of the diseases of the elderly, keeping this anonimously.
On July the 27th, 1947 was the day of the beatification of Catherine Laboure, and Monsignor Guido Anichino declared, while he was reading the brief pontifical that iluminated her existence, judged by some people that she was not worthy to deserve the halo and the glory of the altars:
Catherine Laboure was humble, simple, and angelical. She did not find any difficulty in to lead a life of sacrifice in the prayer and in humilliation. She was willing to suffer to become the Wife and Virgin of Jesus: that was her ideal sublime of love and infinite.
- "Like an adjacent garden, where perfumed violets grow, humble flowers almost invisible, but delicious in exquisite perfumes, the Church, sometimes behind the cloisters ans silent walls of the monasteries, find the most faithful souls, flowers of rectitude ans sanctity that reach the climax of the christian perfection with a humble life, hidden, but hardworking in Christ. Between these souls are included, without any doubt, the venerable servant of God Catherine Laboure that after she had carried out in the most humbles works in the Company of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent of Paul, in spite of her celestial gifts, she voluntarily kept hidden in God, and forgotten by everybody".
For those numerous people, that daily go straight to Rue Du Bac, at number 140, in the open chapel, as she had requested, those people go to the feet of the altar to look for gracies and promises always granted in abudance. Catherine stood in the way that as is represented in the tile of the nave, kneeled, confident and liminous, un the bosom of the Mother of God. Before the eyes of the small and humble those taht truly count before God. Catherine seems the messenger of the Medallion, without her many protection and miracles could not have been possible.
Still, glorifying the violet born with exquisite perfume, in the adyacent garden known only by God. The church has honoured, as Catherine expected not to the priveleged if 1830 but to the sister faithful to the calling that she had chosen, even in the small things, always to the service of God, present in the poor that suffer. Not to the marvelous graces granted, without personal feat, but in the hardworking years, hidden and with the pains generously offered in the communion of the Sun. "As well as everything that was good and fair".
Some memories of Sister Catherine are her appearance slow and silent, emanates form her a deep light. It is not known how to attribute the peace that is in her, but it is not a mistake to point out that when she was in grief, many voices turn to her. She understood that, at night, she was woken up to asist a dying person that stated that did not die in peace without her holding this person’s hand. Catherine always got up and stayed for hours, even in the bedhead of the dying person.
Catherine set Virgin Mary as a model and principle of her actions. She intensified her fillial devotion to the Virgin in such a way that she thought like her in the way to fulfill her obligations, in fact she wrote: "I will take Mary as a model to carry out with my duties, and I will think as if she have done, what I have to do".
Catherine did not have the knowledge of a doctor of the Church. She did not teach a doctrine of a christian life and santification. But she applied experimented techniques. For each thing she has attached to the teachings of Our Mother Mary looking for pleasing her and overall to imitate her. And the path to the dayly sanctity, that does not feed of public heroism, and glamorous actions. And for this reason is to the reach of everybody.
Heorically silent,confused between the masses, understimated by the supervisors and by her mates that do not see in her, a serious sister, devote, ordinary,victim of small miseries and big pains beared without ever complaining.
During her chilhood she never knew what was a minute of fun but she went on anyway, outside pulling out weeds, digging and sowing when the time was the adequate, if not she was kneeling down the floor and cleaning the wood floor of the orphanage. Some days her rheumatism tormented her and get worse. Other days she could not raise her legs because she had a very strong backache. Anyway she went on forgetting her physical weakness and she had the security that where there is a will there is a way.
She never regreted about her supervisors, even if they were despicable, because it was de will of God. She needed to do his wishes. It was a behaviour strong and brave that she continued to do. The drama of Catherine was always to do things in a perfect way.
The sadness, the injustices, the dissapointments always accumulated around her. She will be refuted as never before. She will be misunderstood, but she found consolation in the sense that she had suffered in the same way as the Lord.
When The Mother Superior knew the secret of Sister Catherine, did not treated Catherine with respect and afecction, on the contrary, she mistreated her and harassed herwith fury that Mother Superior herself recognized not to have control of it.
She was aware of trespassing the limits, and often surprised to scold Catherine with unjustified severity, and made her kneel down for mistakes that Catherine had never commited, mother superior said to the other sisters when they tried to intervene un favor of Catherine: "please sisters let me do this".
If these brief notes have fascinated you and you want to read deeper about the figure of this great Saint, and in the extraodinaru history of the Miraculous Medallion, please go on reading the following pages.
Some information have been taken from the book "Vita Nascosta di Caterina Laboure of Anne Bernet". Editorial San Paolo