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Association of the Miraculous Medal

Dear Friend,

In addition to each Sunday, there are several dates observed as Holy Days of Obligation (today the number of Holy Days depends on the diocese, and varies from two to six) in the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States. One of the most important Holy Days for American Catholics is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, since this is the patronal feast of our nation.

Members of our Lady’s Association, like you, are particularly inspired by this Holy Day because of its deep connection to our mission of spreading devotion to Mary. Before our Lady’s medal became known as the “Miraculous Medal,” it was more commonly known as the “Medal of the Immaculate Conception.”

We honor Mary through the Miraculous Medal, the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, because Mary was the woman chosen by God to bring his Son into the world. God wanted Jesus to be untouched by sin, and Mary’s immaculate heart made this possible. The angel Gabriel addressed Mary as "full of grace." She was worthy to be the Mother of the Son of God!

Mary was conceived without sin, a fact we celebrate annually on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. By God’s grace, Mary kept her heart immaculate, free of sin and full of love for God. She cooperated fully with God’s grace, and so her immaculate heart signifies her victory over the forces of evil. This victory is shown on the Miraculous Medal, where Mary crushes the head of the serpent. Mary’s immaculate heart is totally dedicated to Jesus, a fact expressed on the reverse of the Miraculous Medal where Mary’s heart is shown next to our Lord’s.

The world is sometimes confused by the Immaculate Conception, unsure why anyone would seek Mary’s immaculate intercession. “Why not go straight to God?” they say. The Father could have sent his Son into the world in any number of ways, but he did so through Mary. We are made in God’s image and so we, too, choose to come to Jesus through Mary. Our Lady is the one human being who can best show us what it means to be saved. She shows us how to welcome God’s grace by crushing sin underfoot and giving our hearts totally to Jesus.

Here at our Lady’s Shrine, we honor Mary’s holy innocence by celebrating a special Immaculate Conception Novena of Masses, beginning on Thursday, December 8, and continuing for nine days. I invite you to join us at our Lady’s Altar during the novena, asking Immaculate Mary for her miraculous intercession.

During each day of the novena, say this prayer to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. I, too, will say this prayer, asking our Lady to watch over you and intercede for you. Please pray along with us.

Thank you in advance for any donation you can make to support the work of Mary’s Association - bringing hearts to Jesus through our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and assisting the Vincentian community in its ministry of preaching the Gospel and serving the poor.

Please continue to keep all Association members in your prayers. We will be praying for you and the special intentions you send to be remembered in this year’s Immaculate Conception Novena of Masses. May our Blessed Mother obtain for you the infinite graces of her Son.

Sincerely yours in our Lady

Fr. Kevin McCracken,
C.M. Spiritual Director