Spiritual Sustenance – The Miraculous Medal Novena

St. Catherine Labouré was born on May 2, 1806, in a quaint village in Burgundy, France. She was the ninth of eleven children. At the age of nine, her mother died, and in her sorrow, St. Catherine turned to the only other mother she knew. Standing on her tiptoes to see the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her home, St. Catherine tearfully said, “Now, dear Blessed Mother, you will be my mother.”

At the age of 23, she joined the Daughters of Charity, a religious order of sisters founded by St. Vincent de Paul. It was here that our Blessed Mother appeared to St. Catherine in 1830 and told her to have the Miraculous Medal made. During the next 46 years, St. Catherine was aware of the countless miracles God was working through the Medal, yet she chose to remain anonymous.

The Miraculous Medal Perpetual Novena is not an ancient prayer service from a faraway land. Its beginning was at the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia on December 8, 1930, by Father Joseph A. Skelly, CM, founder of the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal. To this day, the Perpetual Novena has continued uninterrupted every Monday at the shrine. Thousands of people around the world join in either at the Shrine, through the Internet, or in their parishes.

I adapted the above history of the novena from the website miraculousmedal.org. Here at CTK, the novena is prayed every Monday after the 8am Mass. It began many years ago but exactly what year is unknown to me. For several years, it was led by Ray Brennan. Sometime prior to his passing in 2018, Kelly Hullihan took over. Kelly asked me to take over in late 2019 when her family moved to the shore. It has been my privilege to carry on this tradition. I have found that it is a great opportunity to lay your troubles at the feet of the Blessed Mother and ask her to grant you a happy death. Since Fr. Jon Thomas arrived, he has led the novena during May, the month of Mary, followed by individual blessings with a relic of St. Catherine Labouré owned by the parish. Come join us.

Bernie Schaming