St Catherine Labouré was born on the 2nd of May 1806 at Fainles-Moutiers, a picturesque village of Burgundy, France. She was the ninth child in a happy family of eleven. God made known the choice of this soul by marking her at an early age with the seal of suffering, for when she was only nine years old she lost her mother.
Saint Catherine Labouré responded to the divine call by entering the Community of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris. Here, during the first months of her novitiate, she was favored with a number of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, who confided to her the mission of having the Miraculous Medal made.
Until shortly before her death Saint Catherine kept a strict silence concerning these apparitions, speaking of them only to her confessor, according to the instructions of Our Lady.
During 46 years Saint Catherine witnessed the wonders and miracles wrought through the Medal. During all this time, carefully guarding her secret of the apparitions, she humbly performed her commonplace duties, devoting herself especially to the care of the infirmed men of Enghien, a suburb of Paris. For this she is called the patroness of seniors.
On the 31st of December 1876, Saint Catherine left this earth for heaven, to contemplate there her Immaculate Queen whose love and beauty had captured her heart on earth.
Her body was exhumed 57 years later and found in perfect condition. Even death respected her who had enjoyed the extraordinary privilege of resting her hands on the knees of the Blessed Virgin for more than two hours during one of the apparitions. Saint Catherine was canonized by Pope Pius XII on July 27, 1947.
The simplicity of Saint Catherine’s life endears her to everyone. She became a saint by doing her commonplace duties well, for God. This “Saint of Ordinary People” has the secret of sanctity for us all.