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Upper St. Clair parish receives 'Miraculous Medals'

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 8:52 p.m.
Isabel Holder (center) and Mia Bollister, first-graders in St. Louise de Marillac, are excited about receiving their “Miraculous Medals” on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, in the Upper St. Clair school. Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
The origin of the “Miraculous Medals” can be traced to French nun Catherine Laboure, who had visions of the Virgin mary with rays of light emanating from rings on her fingers, surrounded by an oval frame. Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review

The Rev. Michael Caridi blessed more than 1,300 tiny gold medals depicting the Virgin Mary for students at St. Louise de Marillac school in Upper St. Clair, along with larger replicas of the medals that were placed in classrooms.

The Rev. Frank Gruber, who served for several summers at St. Louise as a seminary student and is now in Rome, donated the “Miraculous Medals” to the parish, Caridi said.

After the blessing on Tuesday, which was attended by the school's 500 students and staff, Caridi blessing the 2 12-foot-tall reliefs of the medals that were donated by the women of the church's DeMarillac Guild.

“The whole thing is meant to foster our devotion to the Blessed Mother,” Caridi said. “She brings us closer to her son, the Lord.”

The medals originated with the 19th-century French nun Catherine Laboure. Sister Catherine, who was made a saint in 1933, had visions of the Virgin Mary with rays of light emanating from rings on her fingers, surrounded by an oval frame with the words “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee” written on it in golden letters.

The Catholic Church later commissioned medallions, based on her vision, to be worn by the faithful as a sign of Mary's blessings.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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