Window 9: Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
In the 1830's Mary appeared several times to Catherine Laboure, a novice at the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Catherine had grown up working on her family's farm in Burgundy. When Catherine was nine years old, her mother died and Catherine turned to Mary as her new mother. Because Catherine felt that God wanted her to help sick people, Catherine joined the Sisters of Charity so that she could do God's work. When Mary appeared to Catherine, Mary showed Catherine a medal and asked Catherine to tell people about this medal. Many people began wearing this medal as a way of remembering Jesus and Mary. Catherine continued to take care of sick people and to show them God's love and care.
When we look at this window we can pray for people who are sick and lonesome, and we can pray for people who take care of those who are sick and lonesome. We can also pray for children whose mothers have died or who do not take care of them, so that, like Catherine, they will not feel lonely and will find a way to turn to God and to Mary.
Window 10: Our Lady of the Rosary
The Rosary is an especially loved devotional prayer. According to popular tradition, St. Dominic received the Rosary from Our Lady in an apparition in the early 1200's during a difficult time for Christian believers. While research has shown that people prayed a Rosary prior to the days of St. Dominic, possibly as far back as the eighth century, we do know that the Rosary became a well-loved prayer after Dominic's time.
In those earlier days, patterned on the Book of Psalms, the Lord's Prayer was recited 150 times. Those who were devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary replaced the Lord's Prayer with the first part of today's "Hail Mary", reciting 150 Hail Mary's on beads strung on a cord. In the sixteenth century, the second half of the "Hail Mary" was added, and the various mysteries became accepted by all as the proper way of praying this devotion. In 2003 additional mysteries were offered for contemplation.
While the form of praying the Rosary may have changed over the years, this prayer provides a well-loved way for us to meditate upon the lives of Jesus and Mary and to contemplate the ways that our lives intertwine with their experiences.
Window 11: Our Lay of Sorrows, the Pieta
This window shows the beautiful well-known statue known as "The Pieta". How fitting that this window is next to that Station of the Cross in which Mary holds the body of Jesus in her arms. Here we see an expression of profound sorrow and grief. Words fail us as we look at this sadness. As we contemplate this window, let us pray for those who have experienced deep sorrow, especially as a result of violence, fear or hatred.
Let us remember, in a special way, parents whose children have died, that they may find comfort and support in Mary's love.
Window 12: Our Lady of Lourdes
In 1858 Mary appeared 18 times at Lourdes, in the Pyrenees mountains in southern France, to Bernadette Soubirous, a fourteen year old peasant girl. A spring of fresh water, which appeared at the site, feeds the baths at the shrine to the present day. Many miraculous healings have been reported after people have bathed in the waters. The fact that there is no spread of infection, even though no sanitary precautions are taken when people with all sorts of diseases take baths there, is a marvel in itself. There is a medical bureau at Lourdes at which any qualified doctor can come to check alleged cures.
As we look at this window, let us pray for those who are sick, in body, mind or spirit. Let us also remember the many people who minister to ill and suffering people.