Earlier this year I visited Paris and as, always, seeked out the sacred sites.
One such place is the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal,
tucked away, opposite
a huge departmental store, in a side street of Paris.
Catherine Laboure, a young nun at the
Daughters of Charity Chapel in Paris
received a visitation from divine Mary, the first of many.
In more than one visitation she received the image
and instruction about the miraculous medal.
Mary made it clear that this medal can be worn by anyone
and everyone, regardless of religion.
The only requisite was faith in 'when you ask, you will receive'.
The chapel is incredibly beautiful, and as soon as you enter you feel the incredible Presence.
I started a new series of sacred shrines to the Divine Mother
Mary, Grace of the Miraculous Medal
is the first one.
When Mary appeared to St Catherine Laboure in 1830,
in the chapel in Paris,
Her hands were covered in jewels.
From some of the jewels, rays of light shown which she said were
symbols of the graces that would be given to all who asked for them.
The jewels that had no rays were symbols of unclaimed graces.
An oval frame outlined the figure bearing in gold letters the words
'O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee'.
This chapel is still used for worship in Paris and the most beautiful statue
of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal was placed
over the main altar in the chapel where Mary appeared.
I was so inspired by the beauty of the artworks and the chapel itself : t
o mosaics, the statues, everything glittered
and shone with gold and reflecting mosaics
and rays of gold -
and this is what I tried to capture in this small shrine to Her Grace.
I molded and sculptured a statue of Mary Our Lady of Grace
in clay by hand, as well as a Miraculous Medal.
I used gold leaf, gold paint and German glass glitter in
a mix of pale pink and gold
to try and capture the feeling of the Light
in the Chapel.
I also added a silver Miraculous Medal which I bought at the
small shop at the Chapel in Paris.
I added bookbinding tape that had definitions of the words
'love', 'bliss' and 'daughter' on it.
I lined the entire shrine with vintage hymn paper.
When I visited this chapel I wrote about my wonderful experience, bathing in Mary's Love while sitting there.
Soon the images seen by my eyes disappear and only a brilliant golden light is visible. The light has a silver rim to it and it is alive and palpable with wisdom and knowledge which cannot be translated into words. This is the Presence of Divine Mary. The light translates into my physical body and energetically there is deep movement in and through my body. Then my heart fills with a feeling that seems physical. Everything and everyone around me is bathed in this beautiful light and they all glow in love. The Light becomes stronger and more powerful and I see the intense Light at the centre of it all and also at the centre of each and every person. And the quality of this Light is Good and only Good - pure and beautiful and innocent! And it does not matter what happens on the exterior : nothing can corrupt or diminish that Light which is you and me.