"This globe which you see represents the whole world, especially France, and each person in particular. These rays symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The gems from which rays do not fall are the graces for which souls forget to ask" (Our Lady to Saint Catherine Labouré).
Saint Catherine was born in France in 1806. Her mother passed away when Catherine was 9 years old. This made her entrust herself to the Virgin Mary in a special way so that She would be her Mother. Since a young age, Catherine desired to dedicate her life to God in the religious life. Her father resisted her going because there was no one to attend to the duties at home. Disconsolate, she begged the Lord insistently to grant her what she desired: to become a religious. One night in a dream, she saw an elderly priest who said to her, "One day you will help me take care of the sick." When she was 24, she visited her sister and saw in the convent Saint Vincent de Paul's portrait. She recognized the elderly priest from her dream and understood that she had to dedicate her life there. After insisting a great deal, she obtained permission and was accepted by the community. On November 27, 1830, she was praying in the convent's chapel when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her, completely radiant and shedding beautiful rays of light from her hands to the earth. She entrusted Catherine the making of an image of the apparition and a medal. On one side, the medal would have the Virgin Mary's initials--m and a cross--with the quote, "Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." The medal was made, and through it many miracles and special graces were obtained for those who wore it and prayed the prayer on it. From 1830 until 1876, when she died, Catherine lived in the convent and no one thought that she was the one the Virgin Mary had appeared to. Eight months before her death, Catherine told her new superior about all of the apparitions in detail, and it was known who was the one who had seen and heard the Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XII declared her a saint in 1947.