St. Teresa and the Miraculous Medal
“Mary, Mother of Jesus, be a mother to me now!” That is the simple yet powerful prayer that St. Teresa taught people as she distributed the Miraculous Medal—thousands upon thousands of medals.
The medal, which bears an image of the Immaculate Conception and the words, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee,” was almost like her calling card.
If a person were sick, St. Teresa would often ask where the ailment was, then place the medal there. It wasn’t an unusual thing to do. Countless healings and conversions have been associated with the Miraculous Medal through the intercession of the Blessed Mother.
Toward the end of her life, St. Teresa spent time in prayerful reflection and receiving visitors on the second-floor balcony of the Motherhouse in Kolkata.
A testimonial from a doctor in Kolkata highlights the future saint’s outlook on life: “Whomever she greeted in her wheelchair on that balcony, she would ask (them) to pray and give them a Miraculous Medal, and invite them to trust in the goodness of God…What we saw as difficulties Mother would call ‘opportunities’—to look for Him in the distressing disguise…She always had that positive vision.”
Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C., postulator of the cause of beatification and canonization for St. Teresa, told CNY in an interview that St. Teresa had “a great love of the Miraculous Medal and a real, personal love for Our Lady.” She gave the medals to Christians and non-Christians alike.
The Missionaries of Charity carry on the tradition. Father Kolodiejchuk said, “Because she did, we do it.”