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Association of the Miraculous Medal

Miracles Do Happen Through Our Lady's Intercession

Dear friend,

In 1894, an assassin shot President Carnot of France. The bullet severed a major artery, and because medical science could not yet suture blood vessels, the President died from his injuries. This tragic event inspired a third-year medical student named Alexis Carrel to find a solution. He began working with an anatomist at the University of Lyons, and eight years later, Doctor Carrel pioneered human blood-vessel surgery - an accomplishment that earned him the famed Nobel Prize in the year 1912.

Doctor Carrel’s medical advancement could now save countless human lives, but could it save his own soul? Like most of the scientific community at the time, Carrel’s faith was rooted in human ingenuity, not in the saving passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Doctor Carrell was an agnostic, and he possessed deep skepticism for anything unscientific, especially miraculous healings. This is exactly why God chose Doctor Alexis Carrel to witness the next miracle of Lourdes.

In the same year that Doctor Carrel made his revolutionary medical advancement, he boarded a train to Lourdes to observe dozens of sick patients on pilgrimage from Lyons. On the train, Carrel met 23-year-old Marie Bailly, who he declared to be the sickest individual on the train. Marie was dying of tubercular peritonitis, and her condition was so bad, that Doctor Carrel wrote in his diary that she would likely die before ever arriving to Lourdes.

At 2:00 p.m. the next day, May 28, Marie Bailly was still clinging to life as medical staff carried her to the grotto. Pilgrims there poured water from the baths all over her severely swollen, hardened abdomen. Within just two hours, her abdominal lumps disappeared, and her swollen stomach flattened. By evening, it is reported that she was sitting up, talking, and eating – something she had not done well for five months. Not only did Marie make a full and complete recovery, but she lived thirty more years, dedicating her life to Jesus as a Daughter of Charity until her natural death on
February 22, 1937.

Such miracles, both Marie Bailly’s healing and Alexis Carrel’s conversion, explain why we celebrate a novena honoring Our Lady of Lourdes at the National Shrine of the Miraculous Medal every year. You are invited to join in the novena, February 11-19, either in person or in spirit. Enclosed is a prayer card so that you can pray with us and with other members of the Association around the world.

Please send us your novena petitions, as well as any requests for Votive Lights, especially if you or someone dear to you might be in need of healing.

Mary, under her titles of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and Our Lady of Lourdes, is always ready to help her children. We need your assistance – your prayers and your financial support. Any offering you make to the Association will help us in our mission of bringing the world to Jesus through Mary.

We will remember your intentions at the Shrine during the Lourdes Novena,
February 11-19.
May our Lord Jesus bless you for your generosity, and may
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal keep you in her tender, maternal care.

Sincerely yours in our Lady,

Fr. Kevin McCracken, C.M.
Spiritual Director