Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Catherine Labouré (1806–1876)

Saint Catherine Labouré (1806–1876)

Patron saint of the sick, the elderly, and the Miraculous Medal

Feast day: November 28

From the time that she was a young child, Saint Catherine Labouré felt called to religious life. However, after her mother passed away, young Catherine was charged with taking care of the household, while her older sister joined a religious order. One day, upon entering a hospital run by the Daughters of Charity, she received a vision of Saint Vincent de Paul telling her that God wished for her to care for the sick.

Not long after this vision she joined the Daughters of Charity, taking the name Catherine. Catherine was gifted with apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. During one of these apparitions, the Blessed Mother showed Catherine the medal of the Immaculate Conception, commonly known today as the Miraculous Medal. On one side of the medal was an image of Our Lady and the phrase, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” On the other side of the medal were the hearts of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady told Catherine that those who wore the medal would receive graces. She asked Catherine to have one made and to tell others of the devotion to the medal.

There have been many miracles reported at Saint Catherine Labouré’s tomb. Her body is displayed in a glass casket at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Paris. A shrine and gift shop is maintained there by the Daughters of Charity, who continue to serve those who are sick or in poverty today. 

(Image in public domain-70)