St. Catherine Laboure
- Category : Religion
- Type : GP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (2,5,34,57)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Incarnation 1
French ecclesiastic, a Roman Catholic nun and visionary, canonized by the church as a Saint, beatified in 1933 and canonized in 1947.
Catherine was born to a successful farming family, and she was the ninth of eleven children When she was nine, her mother died and she was raised by aunts until she was eleven. As a child, she attended morning mass several times a week, getting up to walk three kilometers for the 5:30 AM service. During a visit to a hospital run by the Sisters of Charity, she had a vision in which an old man, later determined to be Saint Vincent de Paul, told her that God wanted her to work with the sick.
In October 1828, her dad sent her to Paris to work as a maid in his brother's home. She longed to become a nun and on 1/22/1830 she was admitted as a postulant at the Charity Hospice in Chatillon. Three months later she was admitted as a novice at the Seminary of the Charity Nuns of Paris; she had frequent visions of the Lord and of St. Vincent while there. Simple, quiet and unassuming, the other Sisters sometimes teased and ridiculed Catherine about her submissiveness.
On 7/18/1830, 11:30 PM, an angel came to wake her and guided her to the Chapel where she had her first apparition of the Blessed Virgin. In this, the most famous of her visions, she was shown the medal of Immaculate Conception and was told to spread devotion. She told no one of her miraculous experience besides her spiritual director, Father Aladel. Fully convinced of her sincerity, he went to the archbishop and received sanction to strike the medal. Now known as the "Miraculous Medal," it is inscribed with "O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you!" and is well known throughout the Catholic world. At the end of July 1830, she foresaw a revelation of the death of the Archbishop during the riots of 1848, and of the Commune of 1870.
On 11/27/1830, c. 8:00 PM, she had a second vision of the Holy Mother. On 2/05/1831, she was transferred to service at the old people's home on Picpus street; there she had many visions and apparitions. Self-effacing and humble, her life was very ordinary aside from these experiences, and she was a woman of high virtue. Saint Catherine spent the next forty-five years keeping mute about her visions, and Father Aladel kept her secret as well. She spent her last years at the convent at Enghien-Reuilly on the outskirts of Paris where she tended the poultry. Just prior to her death, however, she spoke of her visions to one of her superiors while attempting to fulfill the Virgin Mary’s last request and have a statue made.
On the first of January 1876, Catherine declared that it was the last time she would see the New Year. She died on 12/31/1876, around 7:30 PM, Paris.
In 1933, when she was exhumed for the church to consider "the incorruptibility of the flesh," as a perquisite of sainthood, her corpse was found to be exactly in the same sweet state as when she died. Her eyelids were still flexible over beautiful blue eyes.
She was canonized on 7/27/1947, and her feast day is November 25th.