Saint Catherine Laboure (1806-1876)
for November 28
From the time that she was a young child, Saint Catherine Laboure 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 Sisters 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 Sisters 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. One 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 Laboure's tomb.
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Why do we serve? It helps to put service to others in the context of our faith tradition. Near the end of his earthly life, Jesus asked his followers to love one another. And so we serve one another out of love. We may start off by being required to do service for school or Confirmation preparation. The hope of our teachers and catechists is that, by doing required service, we develop an appreciation for Jesus’ call to serve. As we are shown in the Gospels, Jesus never asked others to serve him. He served others. He gave us an example of service as he healed the sick, listened to those in need, and cared for those on the margins of society. When being called to do service, we can remind ourselves to ask, Am I doing this service as a response to Jesus and his mandate of love? (Taken from "By My Side: A Teen Prayer Companion.")
Jesus, you served others in love; may I respond by being a servant to those in need. (Taken from "By My Side: A Teen Prayer Companion.")