Today, I share with you a place that many Parisians don’t even know about. Still, over 2 million visitors worldwide come to this hidden location in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.
And be sure to watch through to the end! If it resonates with you, I am choosing two people to receive a little gift from the Chapel on Rue du Bac, which is # 14 on @theearfultower 2021 bucket list. To participate, head on over to my Instagram @ThisFrench.Life and send me a direct message.
Today’s giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by YouTube or the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. I just wanted to give something to my friends and followers as a fun way of saying thanks! 🥰 This giveaway will be closed at 5 pm (GMT +1) Feb 12, 2021. Winners announced this weekend!
So, this story starts with Sainte Catherine Labouré. She was born in 1806 to a family of farmers in Burgundy. When she was 9, her mother died and at 12, she had to work on the farm. She did not learn to read and write until she was 18.
She wanted to consecrate her life to God and to the poor, but her father refused to let her go and sent her to Paris to work as a cook and servant.
But later, she became a member of the Company of Daughters of Charity and in 1830, she was then 24, she began her formation at 140 rue du Bac (where the Chapel is).
There are two main stories about this church that make it a major pilgrimage destination. The first dates back to 1830. There was a young novice named Catherine who lived at a convent nearby. A young boy woke her and told her to go the church. Catherine then found Virgin Mary at the altar and the little boy was later revealed to be Catherine’s guardian angel.
Later on in the same year, the apparition reappeared but this time standing on a globe, her feet crushing a snake. In her hands she held a small globe, and Catherine was instructed to have a medal, like the kind that you wear? A medal fashioned after this model.
2 million people from all over the world visit this chapel every year.
Bottom left of the altar: This is the exact spot of the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Catherine Laboure on July 18-19, 1830.
Statue to the right of the altar: This is a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a golden globe in her hands. This is the exact spot where the Miraculous Medal was revealed in a vision to St. Catherine on November 27, 1830.
Above the altar: Another apparition location where the Virgin Mary revealed herself to St. Catherine for the third time in December of 1830.
Wall fresco surrounding the altar: This is the fresco depicting the first apparition that occurred in this chapel on July 18, 1830.
Near bottom right of image: This is the body of St. Catherine Laboure kept in a glass case near the altar.
Going back to that medal, it is now called the Miraculous Medal and has earned the reputation of converting the hardest hearts. Let’s go inside and explore the church.
The same year, a cholera epidemic plagued Paris and the medals’ popularity spread rapidly as wearers of the medal apparently found themselves miraculously cured or protected from the deadly disease. It did not take Parisian long to call it the “Miraculous Medal”.
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