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mary side shrine 2Immaculate Conception, or the birth of Mary. Her parents were Saint Joachim and Saint Anne. She was born free of original sin as proclaimed in 1854, Pope Pius IX’s solemn declaration, Ineffabilis Deus. As a result she shares in the benefits of salvation in Christ from the very moment of her conception.

mother of the church

The Miraculous Medal was originally known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception. Oh Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who has recourse to thee.

main altar miraculous medal shrine

In 1830, the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830 three times. The first time, to tell her of troubling times to come and job she had for Catherine.
ist apparation without frame
1st apparation

The second time, appearing as the Mother of the World, holding a globe with a cross on top.
2nd apparation

The third time, depicted in what we now call the Miraculous Medal, hands outstretched, standing on the globe, crushing the snake, with rays of graces shining down on the world.

3rd apparation

The Blessed Mother said that people who wore the medal around their necks and prayed would be blessed with special graces.

Mary told St. Catherine to “Come to the altar and pray and great graces will be shed upon you.”

The famous Spanish painter Bartolome Esteban Murillo had a devotion to Mary, and created several paintings of the Immaculate Conception in the mid to late 1660s.


Murillo was the inspiration for the the stained glass window at St. Basil’s Church in eastern Pennsylvania. The Immaculate Conception was created in late 1890’s of German design.

immaculate conception Murillo st.basil

Appropriately, high in the ceiling is The Eye symbolizing the Holy Spirit and the important role in the Immaculate Conception.

st.francis de paul

The Vincentians, Congregation of the Mission are the shrine gaurdians of the Miraculous Medal Shrine. St. Vincent dePaul stands at the entrance to the Seminary, and at Mother Mary’s side.

eye holy spirit