Celebrating Saint Catherine Laboure

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by Patricia Mathson

CLICK HERE for a fun activity page about St. Catherine Laboure.

Catherine Laboure lived a quiet life. She kept it a secret that she had been the one who had the Miraculous Medal made honoring Mary, Mother of God. She did not seek honor or glory for herself. Catherine was a humble person who knew that God works through us.

Difficult Life

Catherine was christened Zoe Laboure. She lived on her family’s farm in France. Her mother died when she was only eight years old. From then on, she had to work hard to take care of her brothers and sisters. She never went to school.

Miraculous Medal

Later Zoe became a Daughter of Charity so that she could serve God by caring for the sick. She took the name Catherine. In 1830, Catherine saw a vision of Mary, Mother of God. Catherine had a medal made asking Mary to pray for us. It is called the Miraculous Medal because those who wear it have reported many blessings.

Humble Person

Catherine Laboure was a person of prayer who talked to God about what was in her heart. She went about her life quietly caring for the sick and serving others. She died in 1876 and later was declared a saint. We should follow her example and not live our lives trying to win the approval of others. Instead, we let God work through us as St. Catherine Laboure did in her life.

What Can We Do?

* Let’s hear what Jesus says in Mark 9:35. He tells us that if we want to be first, we have to be last and the servant of all people. Saint Catherine Laboure lived this teaching of Jesus. We should give glory to God and not seek glory for ourselves.

* Let’s pray together the Hail Mary. Catherine had a special devotion to Mary. We can follow the example of Catherine and pray this prayer. The Hail Mary honors Mary as the mother of Jesus. We should say yes to God in our lives, just as Mary did.

* Let’s learn about the Miraculous Medal. On the front there is an image of Mary and words asking her to pray for us. On the back is the letter M at the foot of a cross and stars around the edge. We ask Mary to pray for us to Jesus because we know Jesus will hear her prayers.


God of All People, we pray to live your will in our lives like St. Catherine Laboure. Help us to love you and serve you as she did. May we be humble and not seek attention for ourselves—but always seek glory for you. We know that with you all things are possible. Amen.

Patricia Mathson has many years experience in faith formation as a DRE and holds a Master of Religious Education degree. She is currently the children’s ministry coordinator at Hope Family Center in Des Moines, IA. She is the author of ten books with the latest titled 70 Sacrament Starters for Children (Twenty-Third Publications).

Copyright 2010, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.

This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, October 2010.

Image Credit: jorisvo/Shutter Stock 544541167

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