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Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Miraculous is the Miraculous Medal


Below is from a talk Fr. John Hardon, SJ has given various times.

One of the most memorable experiences that I ever had was with the Miraculous Medal! It changed my life.

In the fall of 1948, the year after my ordination, I was in what we call the Tertianship. This is a third year of Novitiate before taking final vows.

In October of that year, a Vincentian priest came to speak to us young Jesuit priests. He encouraged us to obtain faculties, as they are called, to enroll people in the Confraternity of the Miraculous Medal. Among other things, he said, "Fathers, the Miraculous Medal works. Miracles have been performed by Our Lady through the Miraculous Medal."

I was not impressed by what the Vincentian priest was telling. I was not the medal-wearing kind of person and I certainly did not have a Miraculous Medal. But I thought to myself, "It does not cost anything." So I put my name down to get a four page leaflet from the Vincentians, with the then-Latin formula for blessing Miraculous Medals and enrolling people in the Confraternity of the Miraculous Medal. About two weeks later, I got the leaflet for blessing and enrollment, put it into my office book and forgot about it.

In February of the next year, I was sent to assist the chaplain of St. Alexis Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. I was to be there helping the regular chaplain for two weeks.

Each morning I received a list of all the patients admitted into the hospital that day. There were so many Catholics admitted that I could not visit them all as soon as they came.

Among the patients admitted was a boy about nine years old. He had been sled-riding down hill, lost control of the sled and ran into a tree head-on. He fractured his skull and X-rays showed he had suffered severe brain damage.

When I finally got to visit his room at the hospital, he had been in a coma for ten days, no speech, no voluntary movements of the body. His condition was such that the only question was whether he would live. There was no question of recovering from what was diagnosed as permanent and inoperble brain damage.

After blessing the boy and consoling his parents, I was about to leave his hospital room. But then a thought came to me. "That Vincentian priest. He said, 'The Miraculous Medal works.' Now this will be a test of its alleged miraculous powers!"

I didn't have a Miraculous Medal of my own. And everyone I asked at the hospital also did not have one. But I persisted, and finally one of the nursing sisters on night duty found a Miraculous Medal.

What I found out was that you don't just bless the medal, you have to put it around a person's neck on a chain or ribbon. So the sister-nurse found a blue ribbon for the medal, which made me feel silly. What was I doing with medals and blue ribbons.

However, I blessed the medal and had the father hold the leaflet for investing a person in the Confraternity of the Miraculous Medal. I proceeded to recite the words of investiture. No sooner did I finish the prayer of enrolling the boy in the Confraternity than he opened his eyes for the first time in two weeks. He saw his mother and said, "Ma, I want some ice cream." He had been given only intravenous feeding.

Then he proceeded to talk to his father and mother. After a few minutes of stunned silence, a doctor was called. The doctor examined the boy and told the parents they could give him something to eat.

The next day began a series of tests on the boy's condition. X-rays showed the brain damage was gone.

Then still more tests. After three days, when all examinations showed there was complete restoration to health, the boy was released from the hospital.

This experience so changed my life that I have not been the same since. My faith in God, faith in His power to work miracles, was strengthened beyond description.

Since then, of course, I have been promoting devotion to Our Lady and the use of the Miraculous Medal. The wonders she performs, provided we believe, are extraordinary.

In teaching theology over the years, I have many semesters taught the theology of miracles. And I have an unpublished book manuscript on "The History and Theology of Miracles." My hope is to publish the manuscript in the near future.
***
Why wear any type of necklace when you can wear the Miraculous Medal and enjoy the promised protection of the Virgin Mother to those who would wear it with faith and confidence?  You wear it as an outward sign of your faith and trust in God's protection through the patronage of His Loving Mother.  If God our Father trusted the Virgin Mary to bear his ONLY Son, who are we then not to trust Her?

***

For those looking for the traditional blessing and imposition of the Miraculous Medal, here it is.
Blessing and Investiture with Miraculous Medal
(Priest vests in surplice and white stole)
+. Our help is in the name of the Lord
R. Who made heaven and earth
+. The Lord be with you
R. And with your spiri.

Let us pray.

Almighty and merciful God, Who by the many appearances on earth of the Immaculate Virgin Mary were pleased to work miracles again and again for the salvation of souls; kindly pour out Your blessing + on this medal, so that all who devoutly wear it and reverence it may experience the patronage of Mary Immaculate and obtain mercy from You; through Christ our Lord. AMEN.

Priest sprinkles Miraculous Medal(s) with Holy Water, then presents it to person(s) saying:

Take this holy medal; wear it with faith, and handle it with due devotion, so that the holy and Immaculate Queen of Heaven may protect and defend you. And as she is ever ready to renew her wondrous acts of kindness, may she obtain for you in her mercy whatever you humbly ask of God, so that both in life and in death you may rest happily in her motherly embrace. AMEN.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father...

+. And lead us not into temptation
R. But deliver us from evil
+. Queen conceived without Original Sin
R. Pray for us who have recourse to thee
+. O, Lord, hear my prayer
R. And let my cry come unto thee
+. The Lord be with you
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, Who willed that Your Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived without sin, should become illustrious through countless miracles; grant that we who ever seek her patronage may finally possess everlasting joys. We ask this of You, Who lives and reigns forever and ever, AMEN.

7 comments:

  1. I wish I could be enrolled in the Miraculous Medal, but our "modern days" priest here isn't into that sort of thing. I wear it anyway, though.
    Thanks for posting this beautiful story!

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  2. thnx for posting the enrolement, I have been wearing a miraculous medal for a while now and did not know about the enrolement, I will print it out and take it to a priest and get enroled asap and thanx
    fr. hardon, I said a asked him to guide me to find the words for enrolement, and here I am May the name of Jesus be blessed for ever

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  3. Thanks for visiting my blog nikkii. I wish you could find a priest who would bless the medal using the approved formula.

    Mine was touching. My brother who is a priest blessed it and I received the medal kneeling.

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  4. Hello po. I was wondering where can I get a Miraculous Medal and have myself enrolled? thanks po.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nikki,

      You can use the blessing above and have a priest use it for the blessing and imposition.

      You may want to read this post:

      http://thepinoycatholic.blogspot.com/2011/03/miraculous-medal-associations.html

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  5. "And also with you"

    Seriously bro?Hmmn, no biggie. Anyway, thanks for keeping old useful articles like this.

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha....postmodernist, I just notice it.

      Anyway, this was posted in 2009 and the translation was still in the works, but you are right. I should have corrected it long ago. Fr. Z has the knack for doing that. Thanks!

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