Roberto de Mattei
November 24, 2020
Over the last few weeks several of the world’s most important pharmaceutical companies have announced the imminent production of vaccines against Covid 19. Commenting on this news, an esteemed Italian virologist, Professor Andrea Crisanti, issued a statement of supreme common sense. In response to the question whether he would take the vaccine or not, he replied: “Normally it takes about five to eight years to produce a vaccine. For this, without available data, I wouldn’t take the first vaccine that should be arriving in January. I’d like to be sure that this vaccine has been tested properly and that it satisfies the safety and efficacy criterion. As a citizen I have this right and I’m not willing to accept shortcuts.”
It is an answer of complete common sense, sound, for that matter, with the principle of precaution, invoked so much today for the protection of the environment and it is not clear why this shouldn’t be applied in the field of health as well. Prof. Crisanti is not against vaccines, but retains correctly, that the press releases by the pharmaceutical companies are not enough to guarantee safety and so he is waiting for the scientific data, which the regulatory agencies will verify. As a result of these prudent words he’s been demonized by the mass-media and some of his colleagues.
Cristanti defended himself with a letter published in the Corriere della Sera of November 23, wherein among other things, he states: “The custodians of scientific orthodoxy do not admit hesitations or vacillations; they demand a leap of faith from those who don’t have access to privileged information. ‘The vaccine will work’, they thunder indignantly. I’m the first to hope this is true; nonetheless, allow me to object: the vaccine is not a sacred object. Let’s leave faith to religion and doubt and discussion to science which are its stimulus and guarantee.”
I give space to these declarations because it seems to me they are the voice of common sense at a time when the good use of reason is often lacking. Those like us, who are neither immunologists nor microbiologists and thus incapable of making scientific predictions, can only make an effort not to renounce the good use of logic and can do nothing other than agree with Professor Crisanti. But, seeing that, in addition to reason, it is necessary to live through this pandemic in the light of faith, we can indicate the existence of a remedy against the Coronavirus which is by far the most effective since it prevents not only bodily ills – which everyone fears – but also the much more dangerous ones, those of the soul – which nobody addresses.
I am referring to the Miraculous Medal which we celebrate on November 27th. It was Our Lady Herself Who appeared to Catherine Labourè that day in 1830. She was 24 years old at the time and a novice at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity, in Rue du Bac, Paris. Catherine Labouré recounts that she saw: “a somewhat oval frame forming around the Holy Virgin, upon which in a half-circle from the right to the left of Mary these words written in gold-letters could be read:“O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you,” Then a voice was heard that said to me: ‘Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck’. In an instant it seemed to me the frame turned around and I saw the other side of the Medal. There was the letter M (Mary’s initial) surmounted by a cross without a crucifix which had as a base the letter I (initial of the name of Iesus –Jesus). Then further below there were two hearts, one encircled by thorns (representing Jesus’ heart), the other pierced by a sword (Mary’s). Lastly, twelve stars encircled everything. Then everything vanished, like something switching off, and I was left filled with – I don’t know how to express it – good sentiments, of joy and consolation.”
The first 1500 examples of the medal requested by Our Lady were produced in 1832. Since then, graces and miracles have multiplied the requests for the medals: sinners converted, the dying healed, dangers thwarted and graces of every type obtained. The parish of Notre-Dame des Victoires in Paris became a center of extraordinary propagation. Catherine Labouré was the silent apostle of the Miraculous Medal until her death on December 31, 1876. The total number of medals already distributed up until that date were over a million. The most astonishing fruit of the new devotion was the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne, to whom Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal appeared on January 20, 1842, in the Roman Church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte.
In 1894, Leo XIII, on the fiftieth anniversary of the apparitions at Rue du Bac, declared the miraculous conversion of Ratisbonne authentic and proclaimed the Feast of the Miraculous Medal for November 27th every year. On July 27, 1947, Catherine was proclaimed a Saint by Pius XII and today her body is venerated in the Chapel of the Apparitions in Rue du Bac, alongside that of St.Louise Marillac, foundress, with St.Vincent de Paul, of the Daughters of Charity.
Why did Our Lady choose a simple medal to distribute Her graces? For the same reason She chose a humble novice as the recipient of Her message: to demonstrate that Providence always uses apparently insignificant instruments to overthrow enemies who think they are invincible. As St. Paul says: “But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the wise; […] And the base things of the world, and the things that are contemptible, hath God chosen, and things that are not, that he might bring to nought things that are.” (I Cor. 1, 27-29).
In the apparition of November 27th to St. Catherine Labouré, Our Lady stands victoriously on the globe – the World – and holds another smaller globe in Her hands, offering it to God. If She is offering it to Him, it is because it belongs to Her. Mary Mediatrix of all graces, Co-Redemptrix of the human race, is also the Queen of Heaven and Earth. The world belongs to Her and not to the leaders of Globalism. There is a world order which is holy and it is Hers.
Pius XI, on July 19, 1931, on the occasion of the process for the Beatification of Catherine Labouré, touching upon the evils afflicting the Church, he said: “In these days the Miraculous Medal is resplendent, as if to call us back in a visible and tangible way to prayer where no holds are barred, even miracles, and especially miracles. It is indeed a great miracle that the blind can see…but there is another miracle we must ask Mary, Queen of the Medal for, and it is that those who don’t want to see – see…”
The Miraculous Medal should be blessed and then worn, preferably round the neck. May its devotees not only wear it round their neck or on their clothes, but diffuse it, in their homes, in places of pain and those of sin, wherever it can be distributed.
The Miraculous Medal, worn with faith by many Catholics all over the world, still continues its extraordinary mission today and is a prodigious vaccine against the evils of our time. The last great miracle we ask of it, is the dissipation of the darkness of chaos, enveloping the world we live in.
Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana