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When Elvis Presley died in 1977, he didn’t have a will or other plan so over 70% of his roughly $10 million estate went to pay taxes and fees. Sitting down with a professional is the key to passing on assets from one generation to the next while avoiding needless taxes. In the first Rays of Light for 2020, Fr. Kevin explains how communication with your family and professional planner is so important in establishing a will. With a little bit of planning, you can leave behind a treasure of prayer, intercession, and discipleship for generations to come.
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Miracles Really Do Happen!
The hopeful message of the Miraculous Medal and Mary’s promise is, “All who wear it will receive great graces.”  The Association of the Miraculous Medal in Perryville, Missouri, carries out our Lady’s request of inviting men and women of the world to share in Mary’s promise. I invite you to send me your prayer intentions to be remembered at our Lady’s Shrine and to burn a Votive Light as a sign of your commitment and prayers. Help us to continue our mission of following Mary’s request of distributing the Miraculous Medal to all the world and to every person by requesting yours today. Read Father Kevin’s letter about the Miraculous Medal and Mary’s powerful intercession.
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You are invited to join the Association’s octave of Masses, February 11-18, honoring Our Lady of Lourdes. Send us your intentions now to be remembered and burn Votive Lights.  Mary, under her titles of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and Our Lady of Lourdes, is always ready to help her children. So many miracles are attributed to water coming from a spring at Lourdes, France. These miracles testify to the fact that Mary intercedes for us! This close connection between Lourdes and the Miraculous Medal is why we celebrate an octave of Masses here at the National Shrine of the Miraculous Medal honoring Our Lady of Lourdes. Read Fr. Kevin’s letter about the story of young Yvonne Fournier who was blessed with an instant and complete restoration of injuries she sustained in a work-related accident after a single bath in the waters of Lourdes.
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If you are looking for a way of sharing miraculous grace that comes only from our Lord in a gift for memorable occasions like Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, weddings, and anniversaries, or for the passing of a loved one, the Association recommends a Perpetual Membership. It’s an ongoing share in the spiritual benefits of Masses and prayers offered here at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal for the living or deceased. Read Fr. Kevin’s letter which explains our Perpetual Memberships and the spiritual benefits bestowed upon those enrolled.  
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Christmas is fast approaching, and many of you are feeling overwhelmed by all the preparations of the season. If you are seeking a deeper encounter with Christ this Christmas, I encourage you to offer Jesus your prayers of thanksgiving. A perfect way to do this is to send me your Christmas petitions to be included in the Shrine’s Christmas Novena, December 16-24. Your intentions will be placed at our Lady’s Shrine for remembrance as we prepare for the coming of our Lord. You might also want to burn a Votive Light in thanksgiving for the blessings of the year. May our newborn Savior bless you this Christmas and may his Mother Mary watch over you and your loved ones.

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In the 2019 Winter Bulletin, Father Kevin concludes his series on the universal call to holiness—sainthood. All of us are asked by God to serve him, to love him, and to be with him forever. Don reflects on those family members who have passed away, but vividly remembers the gifts of time, love, and grace he shared with them. A new Votive Light card is available to use during the winter months to share with someone who is in your thoughts and prayers. Read about our volunteer program and how we reached our goal of distributing two million Miraculous Medals in 2019. To see how you help us do our Lady’s work, a financial accountability report for 2019 is included. To learn about opportunities for making a Year-End gift to the Association, be sure to read the Winter Bulletin.

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Our Blessed Mother was conceived without sin, a fact we celebrate annually on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8. Because the second Sunday of Advent is celebrated on December 8 this year, the feast of the Immaculate Conception is transferred to December 9. By God’s grace, Mary kept her heart immaculate – free of sin and full of love for God. Here at our Lady’s Shrine, we honor Mary’s holy innocence by celebrating the Immaculate Conception Octave of Masses beginning on Monday, December 9. Submit your petitions to our Lady’s Shrine today to have them remembered during the eight days of Masses, and request Votive Lights as a sign of your prayer. During each day of the octave, say this prayer to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.
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Nobody wants to talk about dying and especially what will happen to all of our personal items. Families can become overwhelmed as they go through the process of deciding what to do with all of their loved one’s valuables. The Fall Rays of Light Newsletter provides five tips to help you organize your collections, heirlooms, and documents to provide your children and heirs an organized and thoughtfully prepared estate.
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Read our 2019 Fall Bulletin
In the fall issue of the Miraculous Medal Bulletin, Father Kevin’s article talks about no one being perfect, and how we should continue to pursue goodness. Don’s article invites all of us to reserve judgement about others until we know the whole story, and Father Tom Hinni’s message is about Mary, the Mother of the Church, and our Mother. In the Fall Bulletin you will also find the second part of Father Oscar Lukefahr’s article, “Unbaptized Babies-Your Saints in Heaven,” which was featured several years ago in a Bulletin. We hope you will take time to read these articles and others in the 2019 Fall Bulletin, and view the many beautiful gifts in our 2019 Fall Gift Brochure. 
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Beginning December 5, Fr. Kevin McCracken, C.M., and a group of pilgrims will make a special Advent pilgrimage of prayer and remembrance. The river cruise on the historic Danube River will take the pilgrims to inspiring churches, Christmas markets, the important Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Svata Hora, and the original statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague. We hope you will join us in spirit and prayer on this journey of faith in Advent by sending your petitions to be remembered in the Masses and prayers offered during the pilgrimage. Say this Advent prayer and one Hail Mary each day of Advent, especially during the days of the Association’s pilgrimage, December 5–16. In commemoration of this pilgrimage, we are offering a beautiful authentic German Holy Family Wood Christmas Ornament. Supplies are limited.

Follow the pilgrimage itinerary, each day of the pilgrimage. You can also follow Fr. Kevin and the other pilgrims each day of their pilgrimage on our pilgrimage photo gallery, Facebook, or Twitter.  

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