Marian jmv apparitionTonight is the 185th anniversary of the first apparition of our Lady to St. Catherine Labouré, on the night of July 18-19. What impact did the apparitions have since then on the Vincentian Family

Father Corpus Delgado reflects on this in a lengthy article …

St. Catherine Labouré (1806-1876) and the message of the Medal of the Mother of God has had a decisive influence on the life of all groups in the Vincentian Family, and especially with regard to the direction of their Marian spirituality. It suffices to call to mind several factors:

At the time of the apparitions to St. Catherine Labouré, the CM, as well as the Company of the Daughters of Charity and the Confraternities of Charity, were practically dispersed and more or less fragmented. The Miraculous Medal and its Marian spirituality are decisive in understanding the rebirth of former Vincentian foundations.

John Gabriel Perboyre (1802-1840) found the strength to witness to Christ by his life in devotion to the Virgin Mary. He propagated the Miraculous Medal in China, convinced that “the entire world be filled with Mary’s mercy.” He was one of so many witnesses to Christ in the Vincentian Family.

Several groups belonging to the Vincentian Family have rooted themselves in these apparitions to St. Catherine Labouré: Vincentian Marian Youth, the Association of the Miraculous Medal and groups that have arisen from these.

Frederick Ozanam (1813-1853) died on the feast of the birth of Our Lady, a feast for which he had great devotion throughout his entire life. He himself carried the medal and took an interest in communicating the conversion of Ratisbonne through the intercession of the Virgin of the Medal. He established the day of the Immaculate Conception as a feast for the Conferences.

We could say that the history of the Vincentian Family could not be understood without this reference to the Immaculate Virgin of the Miraculous Medal.

The Constitutions of the Daughters of Charity and of the CM, the Statutes of the Vincentian Marian Youth and the Association of the Miraculous Medal, as well as the practices of other groups, show us the value of the experience of Catherine Labouré and the Miraculous Medal as a source of Marian Spirituality in the Vincentian Family.

The rest of the article in outline…

1 Introduction

2 Marian Spirituality

3 I. Inspirational Sources of Marian Spirituality within the Vincentian Charism

3.1 1. Mary’s life

3.2 2. The Faith of the Church

3.3 The experience of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac

4 – 4. The Experience of the Vincentian Family since the Apparitions to Catherine Labouré=

5 II. Giving Form Today to a Living Marian Spirituality within Lay Vincentian Associations

5.1 Love Mary

5.2 Live like Mary

6 Conclusion

7 Footnotes