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How the Miraculous Medal Changed My Life
Real Presence ^ | February 2004 | Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J

Posted on 02/14/2004 6:06:07 AM PST by NYer

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.

This Experience Changed My Life

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.


TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Prayer; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: boy; braininjury; cleveland; hospital; jesuit; miracle; miracles; miraculousmedal; oh; ohio; priests; stalexishospital; vincentian

1 posted on 02/14/2004 6:06:08 AM PST by NYer
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To: american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; CAtholic Family Association; narses; ...
Miraculous Medal Association
2 posted on 02/14/2004 6:14:24 AM PST by NYer (Ad Jesum per Mariam)
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To: NYer
What a story!
3 posted on 02/14/2004 7:25:49 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer; Aquinasfan
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.

Ignatius Press Alert +

4 posted on 02/14/2004 8:17:28 AM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
What's the problem with Ignatius Press? They do publish some good books.
5 posted on 02/14/2004 9:09:25 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Pyro7480
No problem that I am aware of. They ought to publish that book on miracles mentioned in the article.
6 posted on 02/14/2004 9:14:08 AM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: NYer
BUMP
7 posted on 02/14/2004 10:15:54 AM PST by nickcarraway (www.terrisfight.org)
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To: Pyro7480; HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
I think he means that Ignatius Press should publish the manusript.
8 posted on 02/14/2004 10:18:01 AM PST by nickcarraway (www.terrisfight.org)
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
That is exciting news. Keep us posted!
9 posted on 02/14/2004 10:26:13 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer
Geez, I must be getting old. I'm crying again.

Oh Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
10 posted on 02/14/2004 1:08:00 PM PST by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Pray for our own souls to receive the grace of a happy)
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To: Diago; narses; Loyalist; BlackElk; american colleen; saradippity; Polycarp; Dajjal; ...
Bump for the Miraculous Medal! Every Catholic should be wearing one. And give one to your non-Catholic or fallen away friends.

"O Mary conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recourse to thee."
11 posted on 02/14/2004 9:04:08 PM PST by Maximilian
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To: Diago; narses; Loyalist; BlackElk; american colleen; saradippity; Polycarp; Dajjal; ...
Bump for the Miraculous Medal! Every Catholic should be wearing one. And give one to your non-Catholic or fallen away friends.

"O Mary conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recourse to thee."
12 posted on 02/14/2004 9:04:27 PM PST by Maximilian
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To: Maximilian; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; ...
Looks like I should start wearing my medals again; it's kind of difficult though since they get caught and tangled with my scapular.
13 posted on 02/14/2004 9:11:39 PM PST by Coleus (Vote for Bush and Traditional Marriage; http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4205947/)
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To: Maximilian
I gave them out at the papal Mass in Ukraine.

Wear one my sister gave me a long time ago as she and her family were surmounting the biggest trial in their lives to date.
14 posted on 02/14/2004 9:16:35 PM PST by Askel5
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To: Askel5
I gave them out at the papal Mass in Ukraine.

Good idea. You can purchase decent quality medals for only $1 - $2 each. I like to buy 10, have them blessed, and then have them ready to pass out to anyone who seems to need and/or want one. It's too late to think about it later if the inspiration hits you but you don't have an extra medal.

15 posted on 02/14/2004 9:18:42 PM PST by Maximilian
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To: Coleus
Thanks for the ping!
16 posted on 02/14/2004 10:44:06 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Maximilian
Thanks,
I wear a Miraculous Medal, and my scapular, as well as a St. Benedict Medal.
17 posted on 02/14/2004 10:49:49 PM PST by Smocker
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To: Maximilian
bttt
18 posted on 02/15/2004 3:40:51 AM PST by lainde (Heads up...We're coming and we've got tongue blades!!)
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To: NYer
I wear a miraculous medal and a Crucifix that is a minature replication of the Crucifix Saint-to-be Pope John Paul II chose for his Pontificate.
19 posted on 02/15/2004 7:29:55 AM PST by Catholicguy (MT1618 Church of Peter remains pure and spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud)
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To: Smocker; Maximilian; HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity; Askel5; NYer; Salvation; Catholicguy; ...
I wear a Miraculous Medal, and my scapular, as well as a St. Benedict Medal.

I wear all three too! I also wear a crucifix with the St. Benedict Medal incorporated into it, and medals of Sts. Francis de Sales, Maria Goretti, and Joseph.

I ran into fellow members of the Militia Immaculata, founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe, at the March for Life in DC this year. I got a whole bunch of Miraculous Medals which I keep in coat pocket, and have given away a few. St. Maximilian called them "spiritual bullets."

I understand your predicament with the tangling, Coleus. It happens to me too, but I still wear all of them. In fact, in this book of photography from "The Passion" that I got yesterday, there's a pic of Mel with the scapular and a couple of medals around his neck.

20 posted on 02/15/2004 11:13:25 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Pyro7480
I got some last year, but not this year at the March for LIfe, gave them out to all the kids that were with us.

I encourage my children to obtain medals and make St. Therese sacrifice beads with them. We give those away too.

21 posted on 02/15/2004 1:10:57 PM PST by Smocker
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To: NYer
you can get Miraculous Medals for $.10/each at Catholic Direct

Not sure if they sell the chains but you could ask.
I give out Miraculous Medals, Bud's Books, Rosaries and various tapes all the time.
I always have some extra Catholic stuff at work and keep a couple rubbermaid containers full of Catholic stuff in the trunk of my car because you never know when you'll be presented the opportunity to share. :)

In the Legion of Mary we refer to Miraculaous Medals as Mary's silver bullet also. They soften hearts and convert souls. We hand them out by the hundreds.

22 posted on 02/15/2004 4:36:00 PM PST by MudPuppy (To Jesus through Mary)
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To: NYer
For a Miraculous Medal that's a little more special visit Saint Catherines MetalWorks.
I've bought these for my family and some special friends. They've got a nice weight to them. I wear a brass one with my crucifix.
23 posted on 02/15/2004 4:42:18 PM PST by MudPuppy (To Jesus through Mary)
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To: Askel5; maximillian; Salvation; NYer; Pyro7480
Yes for the Miraculous Medal!

I give them out to Anglican clergy down here. One of these will enter the Catholic Church on Sunday!

(Oh, and I give them to nuns and priests who seem to be more Wiccan than Catholic.)

24 posted on 02/15/2004 6:33:47 PM PST by Siobhan (+Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet+)
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To: Siobhan
A source for Miraculous Medals, St. Benedict Medals and the Brown Scapular can be found at http://www.tldm.org
25 posted on 03/04/2004 6:32:27 PM PST by pray4liberty (Thanks to Zero Tolerance, our Constitution is in the toilet.)
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