The good use of a medal...
Wearing a medal is therefore not superstition. At the Council of Trent, in 1563, the Church established the proper use of images, statues, medals, scapulars, reminding Christians that, of course, when we venerate images of Christ, the Virgin and the Saints, we do not put our trust in images. The honor we give them is related to the person they represent.
This is very different from superstition, which attributes to an object an occult, automatic but vain effect. The medal, born of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin to Catherine in this chapel, is only a small piece of metal. It should not be considered by us as a talisman or an amulet with magical power, which would be vain credulity on our part.
As a small memorial of the Virgin's love, it helps us to keep it alive in our hearts and in our minds, for we have a short memory and a failing will! The medal, a reminder of the faith that is given to us, stimulates us to show our gratitude by a conduct worthy of a child of the Virgin Mary.
The Church moreover blesses these objects of piety, reminding us that their role is to remind us of the love of Jesus Christ and to increase our confidence in the help of his Mother, who is also our Mother.
The Miraculous Medal
The Miraculous Medal has four specific features. First of all, it was as if it had been "designed" by the Virgin herself! This one indeed showed the oval shape, the invocation to be engraved, her effigy to be placed on one face and on the reverse side the symbolic motives. In this way, the Virgin gave the content; the message, explicit and implicit, of her own identity, her Immaculate Conception, of her cooperation in the salvation given by her divine Son, and of her universal motherhood.
Miraculous MedalThen the Blessed Virgin gave the instructions for its use: "Those who wear it with confidence", we find there as an echo of Jesus' words to the healed woman after touching her cloak: "Go, your faith has saved you".
Finally, the Virgin assigns the purpose of the book: to receive great graces, reminding us of God's mercy and the primacy of the spiritual life.
The Blessed Virgin attributes to her medal a particular effectiveness. The Church has always accepted that relics, statues, medals, scapulars and miracles are attributed to her medals. Wasn't Saint Jeanne de Chantal miraculously healed in 1618 by the imposition of the relics of Saint Charles Borromeo by the hands of Saint François de Sales? Didn't Saint Maximilian Kolbe, in 1912, save his right thumb from amputation by the application of Lourdes water?
Of course it is God who performs miracles, but He wants to perform them, sometimes by means of very material objects of piety, through the intercession of His faithful servants, the saints, and His Mother first! The message of the medal is a call to trust in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin. Let us humbly accept to ask for graces through her hands!