St. Catherine Laboure, the Blessed Mother,
and the child ringed with a halo of light
In the night of 18th July 1830, 1st Appearance of the Virgin Mary, Catherine was woken up by a child ringed in a halo of light. She followed him into the church which was open and lit by countless candles. The child asked her to kneel next to the altar where the Virgin Mary was waiting for her with a message, a mixture of political and religious predictions.
In this message, she namely predicted the July 1830 revolution in France, the bloody political events of 1870, the death of Archbishop Darboy in 1871 and the ensuing political chaos. The Virgin Mary also announced the formation of 2 religious communities abroad, one in the United States (founded by Elisabeth-Ann Seton) and one in Austria, founded by Léopoldine de Brandis.
. . . When our Blessed Mother appeared to St. Catherine Labouré in 1830 at the Rue du Bac in Paris, she modeled the medal of the Immaculate Conception that is popularly known as The Miraculous Medal. Mary stood on a globe, which Catherine understood to be the world. As Mary’s arms reached out to embrace her children, bright rays of light cascaded from her hands into the world. St. Catherine asked her: Please tell me, what is this light? The Blessed Virgin responded, The light is the grace of my Son. Catherine was troubled because some rays of light did not flow into the world. She asked what this might mean. Mary said, Those are graces people fail to seek from me.
Here is a wonderful secret of prayer: Christ wants us to go humbly to his Mother in search of his help. . . .
— Rev. Frederick L. Miller, S.T.D. Professor of Systematic Theology Mount St. Mary’s Seminary Emmitsburg, Maryland