When the new international subdirector for the International Association of the Miraculous Medal wanted to learn more about how the association’s constituent organizations are promoting the Medal and perpetuating the Blessed Mother’s message, the first place he visited was the birthplace of the Miraculous Medal Novena.
That new international subdirector, Fr. Rolando Limjoco, CM, of the Philippines, spent five days at The Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Philadelphia in early October to observe the vibrant liturgical and pastoral activity that happens here every day. Fr. Limjoco met with leaders of The Basilica Shrine as well as the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal, a ministry of the Vincentians of the Eastern Province that Fr. Joseph Skelly, CM, founded in 1915 to thank the Blessed Mother for the graces she bestows on those who ask with confidence for her intercession.
‘Roots of the Association’
(body) Fr. Skelly and his confreres, Frs. Kieran Moran and Michael Drennan, would later co-author the Miraculous Medal Novena. Since its 1927 introduction, this prayer has become one of the world’s most renowned and popular Marian devotional traditions.
“This is where the (Central) Association began and where the Novena began, so it really helps a lot for us to learn the sense of origin, the roots of the Association,” Fr. Limjoco said. “It also gives us a lot of ideas on how to collaborate with the different branches and ministries of the congregation.”
Following his stay in Philadelphia, Fr. Limjoco was due to visit the headquarters of the Vincentians’ Western Province in Missouri then travel to Dublin to meet members of the local Association of the Miraculous Medal. He wants to investigate how these various ministries are fulfilling their common mission at a time that presents many new challenges.
Challenges to Consider
“There are a lot of challenges to be considered, like how to invite the young ones to participate and share in this devotion, this unique gift given to the Vincentian family,” Fr. Limjoco said. “But it is also a matter of creativity. St. Vincent de Paul would say love is inventive unto infinity. I think the important thing is we never lose our creativity, our love for what we do, and then everything else will just fall into place.”
Almost two centuries after Mary first revealed The Miraculous Medal to St. Catherine Labouré at the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, the Medal’s power to inspire devotees of all ages and backgrounds remains.
“I think it’s very important that there are tangible signs and things that people hold onto to remind them of God’s presence and Our Blessed Mother’s protection,” Fr. Limjoco said. “So we are very fortunate to have been entrusted with this sacramental, the Miraculous Medal.”