Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/143

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MEDARDUS


115


MEDARDUS


objects given by the popes as presents. In the six- teenth century this practice was greatly developed. The custom grew up not only of bringing objects which had touched certain relics or shrines to the pope to be blessed, but also of the pontiff blessing rosaries, "grains", medals, etc., enriching them with indul- gences and sending them, through his privileged missionaries or envoys, to be distributed to Catholics in England. On these occasions a paper of instruc- tions was often drawn up, defining exactly the nature of these indulgences and the conditions on which they could be gained. Several papers of this kind — one in favour of Mary Queen of Scots (1576) and others for English Catholics north of the Alps — have been pre- served, emanating from (iregory XIII. One is printed by Knox in the " Douay Diaries ", p. 367. The " Apos- tolic Indulgences" (see Indulgences, Apostolic) at- tached to medals, rosaries and similar objects by all priests duly authorized, are analogous to these. They are imparted l^y making a simple sign of the cross, but for certain other objects, e. g. the medal of St. Bene- dict (q. v.), more special faculties are required, and an elaborate form of benediction is provided. Quite recently Pius X has sanctioned the use of a blessed medal to be worn in place of the brown and other scapulars. The conces.sion was originally made for the benefit of the native Christians in the missions of the Congo, but the Holy Father has expressed liis readiness to grant to other priests who apply, the faculty of blessing medals which may be worn in place of the scapular (see " Le Canonists Contemporain", Feb., 1910, p. 115).

Almost the only attempt at a Bystematic classification of de- votional medals in general seems to have been made by KuNCZE. Systematik der Weihmiimen (Raab, 1SS5), but the work is neither scholarly nor scientific. Much more satisfac- tory in every way, so far aa regards the limited ground covered, are the researches of Pachinger, who has published a valuable series of studies on the Wallfahrts-BTuderschafts- und Gnaden- Medaillen of various districts. These are concerned with Bavaria (1904), Duchy of Austria (1904). Salzburg (1908), and the Tyrol (1909), with some other more general article-s. Other miscellaneous works are Corbierre, Numismatique Benedictine (Rome, s. d.); Iijem, Numismatique et Iconographie mariale (Rome, s. d.); Blanchkt. Nouveau Manuel de Numis- matique (Paris, 1890): a series of articles by Rodyer (espe- cially in 1896-97) and by de Witte (especially 1905-1910) in the Revue Beige de N umismatique; Migne, Encyclopedie, Series II, XXXII, Numismatique (Paris, 1850); Merzbacher, Katalog der Bayrischen WaUfahrts-Kldster- und Kirchen-M edaillen (Munich, 1895); VON Hohenvest. Weihrniinzen fur Sammler (Graz, 1893): this is a slender pamphlet on the classification of religious medals; Schr.\tz, Die Denk- und Weihmiimen der che- maligen bayerischen Nonnenkhister (Briinn); Idem, Miinzen auf den h. Wolfgang (Bninn, 1890): Beierlein, Miinzen der Bay- mschen KWster &c. (Munich, 1857-1879).

Upon early Christian medals, see de Rossi's various articles in BuUettino di Archeologia Cristiana, especially in 1869, 1871, and 1891; Leclercq in Dictionnaire d' archeologie chre- tienne, s. v. Amulettes: Babington in Diet, of Christ. Antiq., 8. v. Money; and Hedser in the Realencyclopadie f. christ. AUertums, s. v. M edaillen, and various articles in the Romische Quartalschrift, particularly 1889. On the papal medals see particularly Bonanni, Numismata Pontificum Romanorum (2 vols., Rome, 1699): Venuti, Numismata Pontificum Romano- rum prastantiora (Rome, 1744).

Other works dealing with the general history of Medals in mod- ern times, but which also have many notices to the students of religious medals, are Forrer, Biographical Dictionary of Medal- lists (London, 1904-1910): Domanig, Die deutsche Medaille in Kunst und Kulturhistorischer Hinsicht (Vienna, 1907), a work magnificently illustrated; Heiss, Les Mcdailleurs de la Renais- sance (8 vols., Paris, 1881-1892), also finely illustrated; Rondot, LesMedaiUeurset Graveurs deMonnaies enFrance (Paris. 1904), with admirable illustrations. .Several other works have been mentioned in the course of the article.

Herbert Thurston.

Miraculous Medal. — The devotion commonly known as that of the Miraculous Medal owes its origin to Zoe Laboure, a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, known in religion as Sister Catherine, to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared three separate times in the year 1830, at the mother- house of the community at Paris. The first of the.se apparitions occurred IS July, the second 27 Novem- ber, and the third a short time later, in December. On the second occasion, Sister Catherine records that


the Blessed Virgin appeared as if standing on a globe, and bearing a globe in her hands. As if from rings set with precious stones dazzling rays of light were emitted from her fingers. These, she said, were sym- bols of the graces which would be bestowed on all who asked for them. Sister Catherine adds that around the figure appeared an oval frame bearing in golden letters the words "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee "; on the back appeared the letter M, surmounted by a cross, with a crossbar beneath it, and under all the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the former surrounded by a crown of thorns, and the latter pierced by a sword. At the second and third of these visions a command was given to have a medal struck after the model re- vealed, and a promise of great graces was made to those who wear it when blessed. After careful in- vestigation, M. .Vladel, the spiritual director of Sister Catherine, obtained the approval of Mgr de Quelen, Archbishop of Parrs, and on 30 June, 1832, the first medals were struck, and with their distribution the devotion spread rapidly. One of the most remarkable facts recorded in connection with the Miraculous Medal is the conversion of a Jew, Alphonse Ratisbonne (q. v.) of Strasburg, who had resisted the appeals of a friend to enter the Church. M. Ratisbonne consented, somewhat reluctantly, to wear the medal, and being in Rome, he entered, by chance, the church of Sant' Andrea delle Fratte and beheld in a vision the Blessed Virgin ex- actly as she is represented on the medal; his con- version speedily followed. This fact has received ecclesiastical sanction, and is recorded in the office of the feast of the Miraculous Medal. In 1847, M. Etienne, superior-general of the Congregation of the Mission, obtained from Pope Pius IX the privilege of establishing in the schools of the Sisters of Charity a confraternity under the title of the Immaculate Con- ception, with all the indulgences attached to a similar society established for its students at Rome by the Society of Jesus. This confraternity adopted the Miraculous Medal as its badge, and the members, known as the Children of Mary, wear it attached to a blue ribbon. On 23 July, 1894, Pope Leo XIII, after a careful examination of all the facts by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, instituted a feast, with a special Office and Mass, of the Manifestation of the Immacu- late Virgin under the title of the Miraculoas Metlal, to be celebrated yearly on 27 November by the Priests of the Congregation of the Mission, under the rite of a double of the second class. For ordinaries and religiovis communities who may ask the privilege of celebrating the festival, itS' rank is to be that of a double major fea.st. A further decree, dated 7 Sep- tember, 1894, permits any priest to say the Mass proper to the feast in any chapel attached to a house of the Sisters of Charity.

Joseph Glass.

Medaxdus, Saint, Bishop of Noyon, b. at Salency (Oise) about 456; d. in his episcopal city 8 June, aliout .545. His father, Nectardus, was of Frankish origin, while his mother, named Protagia, was Gallo-Roman. It is believed that St. Gildardus, Bishop of Rouen, was his brother. His youth was entirely consecrated to the practise of Christian virtues and to the study of sacred and profane letters. He often accompanied his father on business to Vermand and to Tournai, and freciuented the schools, carefully avoiding all worldly dissipation. His exemplary piety and his knowledge, considerable for that time, tlecidcd the Bishop of Vermand (d. 530) to confer on him Holy Orders, and caused him to be chosen as his suc- cessor. Forced, in spite of his objections, to accept this heavy charge, he devoted himself zealously to his new duties, and to accomplish them in greater se- curity, since Vermand and the northern part of France in general were then generally troubled by wars and