God’s chosen design has Mary on the face of the Medal, standing on the world with the serpent beneath her feet, and rays of light emanating from her hands; an image portrayed in Milton’s epic poem: “Paradise Lost,” telling how God created Adam and Eve in His own image and likeness, perfect in nature, dwelling in His presence in perpetual joy. But sadly, their blessed existence was snatched from them by the deceit and envy of satan, with his false and empty promise of a life independent of God, in which they would be the masters of their destiny – gods in their own right – it seems that human thinking has changed little in our search for happiness in anything and everything, but the love of God. Through their disobedience – pride of heart – Paradise was lost, but not for ever, for in that moment of calamity God turned to the serpent and propheised that He would put enmity between him and the Woman, between her and his seed, and she with her heel would crush his head (Genesis 3 v.15 ). The woman being Mary, her seed Jesus our God and Saviour and all who recognize and follow Him as the way, the truth, and the life.
The reverse of the medal has at it’s centre the cross of salvation on an altar ( the horizontial bar ), interlinked with the letter M. An image portraying the fulfillment of that ancient prophecy, the restoration of paradise through the death of Jesus – the seed of Mary – on the cross at Calvary. Below the altar are the hearts of Jesus and Mary symbolizing their love for us whilst the circle of thorns and the pierced sword indicate the pain and suffering they endured in making this sacrifice for us. It has been my experience and perhaps yours too, that love and suffering seem to be insepreable companions, especially when we lose a loved one, a dear friend has cancer; or our love for someone is not returned, we are ignored, despised, forgotten, and taken for granted, and it is just this experience that God reveals in the medal. He loves us so much whilst we, maybe not intentionally, being so preoccupied with the natural things of life forget to turn to Him in prayer or even acknowledge His existence. Thankfully, the Apostles believed and lived lives of love and self sacrifice in proclaiming the good news that God’s kingdom has come and is awaiting your arrival. In gratitude God honors them with the twelve stars placed around the outside of the medal.
Returning to the image of Mary there is an invitation to recite daily the little prayer encircling her: “O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee,” as these words glorify God in his wisdom and generosity in preserving her from original sin. Mary, inturn offers us through the rays of light from her hands the wonderful gifts and graces from the Holy Spirit, so that we too can live and enjoy a closer union in the presence of God; gifts in the form of kindness, compassion, love, forgiveness, thought-fullness; virtues that we consider beautiful in each other, that restore us once again to the image and likeness of God, making our hearts a paradise for Him to dwell in.
Should you wish to receive a medal for yourself or someone in need, or perhaps a little booklet of prayer and consolation for a friend suffering from bereavement, cancer or anxiety of heart then please do not hesitate to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will arrange for for them to be sent to you.