Patty Knap calls herself a “born again” Catholic. She planned to be a wife and mother of four or five kids with several girls, but as life played out, she’s a single mom with two young adult boys. She counsels at a crisis pregnancy center, teaches CCD, takes online classes with the Avila Institute, and loves the beach, dalmatians, and America’s national parks. She also saves recipes in a pile until it gets big and then throws them out.
Jeannie has a great devotion to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. She often carries a few in her bag to hand them out to people she feels could use one.
A cousin of hers just returned from a trip to France. While there she went to Mass at the Paris church where the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Catherine Labouré and requested the Miraculous Medal be created.
Jeannie had already been wearing her own medal for years. She often recites the brief prayer dictated to St. Catherine and printed on the medal, “Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” Her husband and each of their six children wear one too.
Her cousin brought her back a bagful of simple Miraculous Medals from the shrine.
With her youngest son's college lacrosse team playing one weekend recently, Jeannie felt prompted to bring along her bag of medals and give them out. It's not a Catholic college; in fact it's an Ivy League school where political correctness is expected. But with the best of intentions and prayer for all, that reputation wasn't going to interfere with her promoting Our Blessed Mother.
Just before game time as the players were getting their gear on, Jeannie approached the fifty guys and said, “Who wants a special medal with a prayer on it?”
Hands went out and the guys each took a medal, some pinning it to jersey, others sticking it in their sock, a few adding it to a chain already around their neck. Her son gave up wearing it on a chain a while ago after having several torn off his neck on the lacrosse field. He now wears his pinned to his shoulder pad. A few were already wearing one but accepted a new one anyway.
Jeannie says the dialogue that resulted from simply passing out Miraculous Medals was amazing.
“Who is this?" one or two players asked about the image on the medal. “For good luck?” said another. One of the moms said, “My mother wears one of these.” Another mom said, “What are they?“ and Jeannie, realizing this mom was Jewish, pointed out that the Blessed Mother was a Jewish mother.
“I never thought of that,” the woman replied. “I'm going to wear it right in front of my star of David,” said the mom.
A second Jewish mom of the said, “Wait, what? The Mother of Jesus was Jewish?”
“Sure,” said Jeannie. “The Catholic faith is rooted in Judaism. Jesus was Jewish; his parents Mary and Joseph were Joseph. The New Testament is a continuation of the Old Testament.”
Interesting, the woman said, putting a medal in her pocket.
Another mother added, “Yes, and the Last Supper was actually a Seder meal.”
Another mom chimed in, “Thank you. I've been away from the Church for too long. Maybe this is a sign that I could come back. I can use all the prayers I can get,” and pinned it to her jacket.