Welcome to the Christian Mint // Medals with soil from the grounds of Catholic Saints, Bottled Lourdes Water & Rosaries.

We specialize in medals with encapsulated soil collected from sacred Christian sites in Europe.

For the ecology-minded we offer the St. Francis of Assisi Patron Saint of the Environment medal. In a recess on the back side is a clear plastic capsule filled with soil collected from the grounds of the Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Assisi, Italy. The tomb of St. Francis is located in a crypt built under the Basilica. As St. Francis is also the Patron Saint of animals we offer the St. Francis Protector of Animals pet medal for dogs. This, too, holds a capsule of Assisi soil on the back side.

For those women seeking the heavenly protection of St. Agatha, we offer the St. Agatha Patron Saint of Breast Cancer medal. The back side holds a capsule of soil collected from the grounds of the ‘Badia di Sant’Agata’ or Abbey of St. Agatha in Catania, Sicily. St. Agatha’s remains are kept in a reliquary inside the Abbey.

Finely crafted in Italy and of superb quality our medals will assure you of many years of enjoyment. Invoke the protection of St. Francis and St. Agatha for yourself or your loved ones with our unique medals.

Dear Virgin and Martyr, whom the Church recalls in her liturgy, you heroically resisted the temptations of a degenerate ruler. Subjected to long and horrible tortures, you remained faithful to your heavenly Spouse. Saint Peter, we are told, gave you some solace and so you are invoked by nurses. Encourage them to see Christ in the sick and to render true service to them. Amen.

O Heavenly Father,
Who raised Agatha
to the dignity of Sainthood,
we implore Your Divine Majesty
by her intercession
to give us health of mind,
body and soul.
Free us from all those things
which hold us bound to this earth,
and let our spirit, like hers,
rise to your heavenly courts.
Through Jesus Christ,
Your Son, our Lord,
Who lives and reigns
with You, forever. Amen.
Patronages
  • against breast cancer
  • against breast disease
  • against earthquakes
  • against eruptions of Mt.Etna
  • against fire
  • against natural disasters
  • against volcanic eruptions
  • fire prevention
  • bell founders
  • jewelers
  • rape victims
  • torture victims
  • wet nurses

Saint Agatha has been venerated as a virgin and martyr since the time of her death in AD 251. Besides the Blessed Virgin Mary, she is only one of seven female Saints commemorated in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer 1) and as early as the fifth century had two churches in Rome dedicated to her.  Born in Catania, Sicily to a wealthy and noble family, Agatha was a devout Christian. As a young, beautiful and wealthy woman she would attract the attention of Quintian, a Roman governor. Following the anti-Christian edits of the Roman Emperor, Decius, Quintian tried to blackmail Agatha into a sexual relationship in exchange for not prosecuting her for her religious faith. Agatha rebuffed him and, as a result, was thrown into a brothel but refused to accept customers. She was then put in prison and endured brutal interrogations and tortures that included being stretched on the rack and having her breasts cut off.  She would reproach her prison guard by telling him: “Cruel man, have you forgotten your mother and the breast that nourished you that you dare to mutilate me in this way?”  That night St. Peter would appear to her in a vision and miraculously heal her.

Four days later upon further interrogation, she was condemned to death by rolling her naked body in broken glass and hot coals.  Unshaken to the end in her devotion to God she thanked Him for an end to her suffering and died.  St. Agatha’s feast day is February 5th.

Novena to St Francis of Assisi

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O glorious Saint Francis, who, loving above all things suffering and the cross, merited to bear in your body the miraculous stigmata, by which you became a living image of Jesus Christ crucified:  obtain for us, we pray, the grace to bear in our bodies the mortifications of Christ, that we may merit one day to receive the consolations which are infallibly promised to all those who now weep.

 “If we be dead with Christ Jesus, we shall live also with Him,” says the Apostle; “if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.” (2nd Timothy 2.11-12)

Pray for us, Saint Francis, that we may obtain the graces and favors we ask for in this novena; pray for us, especially, that we may obtain the grace of perseverance; of a holy death and a happy eternity.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;  where there is injury, pardon;  where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;  where there is darkness, light;  and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek  to be consoled as to console;  to be understood as to understand;  to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;  and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Glorious Saint Francis, who voluntarily renounced all the comforts and riches of your home to follow more perfectly the life of poverty and abnegation of Jesus Christ:
obtain for us, we pray, a generous contempt of all things in this world, that we may secure the true and eternal things of heaven.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O glorious Saint Francis, who during the whole course of your life continually wept over the passion of the Redeemer, and labor most zealously for the salvation of souls:
obtain for us, we pray, the grace of weeping continually over those sins by which we have crucified afresh Our Lord Jesus Christ, that we may attain to be of th e number of those who shall eternally bless His supreme mercy.

St. Francis of Assisi was born in Umbria, Italy in 1182 and baptized Giovanni, after St. John the Baptist. He was the privileged son of a wealthy Jewish/Venetian banker and cloth merchant who loved traveling to France. His father insisted that he be renamed Francis, or Frenchman, and expected his young son to follow in his footsteps. As a young man Francis enjoyed the easy life thanks to his family’s wealth but he also led a somewhat sinful life due to the permissive culture in this era of Italian history. Later he would take part in the battle of Collestrada in 1202 between Assisi and Perugia in which the Assisi forces were captured and taken prisoner. After a year in prison Francis was ransomed by his rich father. It took him more than a year to recover from his health problems that had resulted from his prison stay. Once he felt better Francis went to Spoleto in 1204 with the idea of becoming a knight and joining the fourth Crusade but after praying for direction Francis was called by God to forego his worldly wealth and “repair” God’s church. He returned to Assisi to the scorn of his father and friends.

In 1206, Francis began a mendicant life while trying to repair the church of San Damiano. It was during this endeavor that he realized that God meant for him to reform His institutional church which was beset with scandals. Although never ordained a priest Francis began preaching in the streets and soon had many followers. Francis formed the Franciscan order of monks to continue caring for the poor and spreading the Gospel. This order was endorsed by Pope Innocent III in 1210. Francis loved nature and believed that all parts of God’s creation were his brotherhood. His final years were full of suffering and illness. While praying to share in the pain of Jesus’ Passion he received the stigmata. Francis died on October 3rd, 1226. Pope Gregory IX pronounced him a Saint on July 16th, 1228. Construction of the basilica started in the same year and was finished in 1230. An addition called the Upper Basilica was begun in 1239 and was completed in 1253.

The feast day of St. Francis is celebrated on October 4th.

     Patronages

  • against dying alone
  • against fire
  • animal welfare
  • Animals
  • birds
  • ecologists
  • ecology
  • environment
  • environmentalism
  • environmentalists
  • families
  • lace makers
  • lace workers
  • needle workers
  • peace
  • tapestry workers
  • zoos
  • merchants

 

Located in the Pyrenees Mountain region of France, Lourdes is the home of one of the most important shrines in the Catholic Faith: the Grotto of Massabielle. Approximately five million pilgrims, of whom a great number are sick or handicapped, come to Lourdes each year. It may be through curiosity, through a desire for a physical cure, in a movement towards belief, or to be of service to those who suffer, that they come to drink the water from the Holy Spring.

This region of France was a strategic stronghold during medieval times. Situated at the foot of the Pyrenees, the medieval castle of Lourdes provided protection against foreign forces. During the Hundred Years War, the French captured this region from the English in 1406 after an 18-month siege The medieval castle was used as a state prison from the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715) until the beginning of the 19th century. It was in 1858 when Lourdes’ importance as a military and state stronghold ended and its spiritual importance began.

Between February 11 and July 26, 1858, Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl, experienced 18 apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the nearby Massabielle grotto. During the 9th vision, an underground spring with healing powers was revealed. The Holy See recognizes 67 miracles attributable to the water that flows from it.

During the 18 Apparitions the Virgin Mary spoke to Bernadette suggesting the we come here. The response of millions of us to that invitation is made in Lourdes each year, a world center of pilgrimage and a special place of meeting between God and people.

Panoramic view of Lourdes

Basilica of the Immaculation Conception Lourdes, France

Grotto of Massabielle at night in Lourdes, France

Introduction

Lourdes is a village in France where Our Blessed Mother appeared eighteen times to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. Her messages to Bernadette are ageless and apply to all of us today.

Bernadette Soubirous was born on January 7, 1844. She was the first child of Francois Soubirous and Louise Soubirous (Casterot). Her father was a miller who provided a comfortable living for his family. Bernadette had six brothers and two sisters. Only three of her siblings lived beyond the age of ten. These loses bonded the family together in strength and love. Bernadette once said that she had never heard her parents quarrel. The family was always at peace. This solid family foundation left Bernadette emotionally balanced in times of trouble and when faced with poverty and illnesses which were to come.

A series of events which began in 1854 changed their lives. Bernadette’s father was falsely accused of stealing two sacks of flour and was imprisoned for many days. There was a drought which lasted for two years and drastically affected the wheat harvest and work at the mill. And finally, the steam mills that resulted from the Industrial Revolution put Francois’ mill out of business, and he was out of work. The family was reduced to living in a one-room dwelling called the Cachot, which was formerly used as a jail. During this same period Bernadette contracted cholera. The high fevers caused her to suffer physically the rest of her life. She suffered emotionally also. She felt the heart ache of being excluded as people pointed to her family as the ones who live in the Cachot. Her physical illnesses prevented her from going to school. At age 14 she spoke only the dialect of Lourdes. She was unable to read or write or speak French, and the Catechism was taught in French only. She went to Mass, but she was not allowed to receive Holy Communion with her friends. Sometimes Bernadette’s only comfort was her mother’s love. Later, Fr. Pomian prepared Bernadette for First Holy Communion. There was something about Bernadette that moved the Hosts of Heavenly Hearts. She was blessed with eighteen divine apparitions, and the world is forever changed and will never forget Bernadette.

The First Apparition – Thursday, February 11, 1858:

After dinner on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, Bernadette’s mother told her children that there was no more wood in the house. Bernadette and her sister, Toinette, and a neighbor friend, Jeanne Abadie, went to the river Gave to gather wood. They had to cross a canal of cold water. Fearing that she would have an asthma attack, Bernadette stayed on the bank, and the other two girls crossed the stream and picked up wood under the grotto until they disappeared along the Gave.

Bernadette heard a great noise like the sound of a storm, but nothing was moving. She was frightened and stood straight up, loosing all power of speech and thought. She turned her head towards the Grotto of Massabieille and saw in the opening of the rock a rosebush, one only, moving as if it were very windy. Almost at the same time, there came out of the interior of the grotto a golden-colored cloud, and soon afterwards, a Lady, young and beautiful –exceedingly beautiful — the likes of whom she had never seen, came and placed herself at the entrance of the opening above the rosebush. She looked at Bernadette and immediately smiled and signaled her to advance, in a way that a mother motions her child to come near. Bernadette took out her rosary and knelt before the Lady, who also had a rosary on her right arm. When Bernadette tried to begin saying the rosary by making the sign of the cross, her arm was paralyzed. It was only after the Lady had made the sign of the cross herself that Bernadette was able to do the same. As Bernadette prayed the rosary, the Lady passed the beads of her rosary between her fingers, but remained silent. She did recite the Gloria’s with her, however. When the recitation of the rosary was finished, the Lady returned to the interior of the rock and the golden cloud disappeared with her.

Bernadette told her sister of the extraordinary things that had happened to her at the grotto, asking her to keep it a secret. Throughout the day the image of the Lady remained in her mind. In the evening at the family prayer Bernadette was troubled and began to cry. When her mother asked what was the matter, her sister told her everything. Bernadette’s mother told her that these were illusions, and forbid her to return to Massabieille.

Bernadette could not sleep that night. The face of the Lady, so good and so gracious, returned incessantly to her memory. It was useless to recall what her mother had said because she did not believe that she had been deceived. Her conviction of this was unshakable. She went on to describe the Beautiful Lady in detail:

“She has the appearance of a young girl of sixteen or seventeen. She is dressed in a white robe, girdled at the waist with a blue ribbon which flows down all around it. A yoke closes it in graceful pleats at the base of the neck. The sleeves are long and tight-fitting. She wears upon her head a veil which is also white. This veil gives just a glimpse of her hair and then falls down at the back below her waist. Her feet are bare but covered by the last folds of her robe except at the point where a yellow rose shines upon each of them. She holds on her right arm a rosary of white beads with a chain of gold shinning like the two roses on her feet.” On Sunday, Bernadette’s mother allowed her to return to the grotto.

The Second Apparition – Sunday, February 14, 1858:

The three little girls started out, armed with a vial of holy water. If what their elders said was true, they might need this to ward off malign influences. Instead of throwing the water at the Lady, Bernadette poured the water quietly on the ground. Then she turned and told her companion that, judging by the Beautiful Lady’s smile, She was pleased by this action. Before Jeanne Abadie, who was just arriving, could explain that she had thrown a stone for fun, the others had scattered in every direction, screaming for help as they ran. When Toinette reached the cachot (home) and poured out her story, her mother seized a switch and headed for the site. By now the whole town was talking. Fortunately for the unhappy little Bernadette, one local woman of considerable prominence interpreted the apparitions in a different light from most of the townspeople. She got Louise’s permission to let her daughter Bernadette accompany her and a friend to the grotto.

The Third Apparition – Thursday, February 18, 1858:

All three went first to early Mass. Then they set out for the grotto. Madame Millet carried a blessed candle; Antoinette Peyret a pen, paper and ink to record anything that might be said. The Beautiful Lady said to Bernadette: “There is no need for me to write down what I have to say to you. Will you be so kind as to come here every day for fifteen days?” No explicit reason was given for this request, but a definite pledge accompanied it: though she did not promise that Bernadette would be happy in the world, the Beautiful Lady gave her word that happiness would be waiting in heaven.

The Fourth Apparition – Friday, February 19, 1858:

Bernadette’s parents and her aunt accompanied her to the Grotto along with some neighbors. Shortly after Bernadette began to pray the Rosary, everyone present noticed that her face was transfigured and illuminated.

The Fifth Apparition – Saturday, February 20, 1858:

On Her fifth visit, the Beautiful Lady taught Bernadette a prayer, which she recited daily for the rest of her life. She never revealed the prayer to anyone, but she did say that she was told to always bring a blessed candle with her. Candles now burn perpetually at the Shrine.

The Sixth Apparition – Sunday, February 21, 1858:

The Beautiful Lady told Bernadette on this occasion to “pray for sinners”, which she never failed to do. Several hundred people were present on that day, including Dr. Dozous, a prominent physician in Lourdes. He told the crowd that he could find nothing abnormal about Bernadette’s physical condition, even when her mental state was trancelike: “Her pulse was regular, her respiration easy, and nothing indicated nervous excitement.”

A meeting was called by the citizens of the town, and sharp differences of opinion were expressed regarding the apparitions. They expressed concern for the dangers that could accompany gatherings of such large crowds. They persuaded the Procurer Imperial, M. Dutour, to officially forbid Bernadette to return to the Grotto. Bernadette responded that she could not give her word to refrain from going to the Grotto because she had promised the Beautiful Lady she would do so. Dutour dismissed her, and discussed this matter with two local officials: M. Jacomet, the Chief of Police; and M. Estrade, who was to become Bernadette’s and Dutour’s friend and who was also to perform an invaluable service by listening in at future conversations and scrupulously recording them word for word.

Estrade recorded a conversation between the Chief of Police and Bernadette. During that meeting, M.Jacomet deliberately tried to confuse Bernadette to change her account of the apparitions. When that attempt failed, the Chief of Police released Bernadette to the custody of her father with an admonition that he take her home and guarantee that there would be no further disturbances. But the interior call which was urging her on was stronger than any earthly admonition.

On Monday, February 22, 1858, Bernadette returned to the Grotto after school. Two policemen saw her and followed her, and so did the usual crowd. The policemen stood at respectful attention as she knelt down in her accustomed place. But as she arose, they sprang forward and asked her if she still insisted that she had seen a Beautiful Lady. “No, this time I saw nothing at all,” she answered. She was allowed to go home, but she was taunted and threatened. People said mockingly that the Beautiful Lady was afraid of the police and had found some safer place to go.

The Seventh Apparition – Tuesday, February 23, 1858:

Approximately two hundred people were present at this apparition. When Bernadette’s appearance was once more transformed, the men present removed their hats and fell to their knees. Bernadette appeared to be gravely serious and listening, and then joyful, and she would occasionally bow low. At the conclusion of the vision, which lasted an hour, Bernadette moved on her knees toward the rose bush and kissed the ground. When asked what the Lady had said, Bernadette replied that the Lady had entrusted her with three secrets, which she never revealed.

The Eighth Apparition – Wednesday, February 24, 1858:

During the eighth apparition, Bernadette turned and faced the crowd of more than four hundred people, and three times she repeated, “penitence, penitence, penitence!”

The Ninth Apparition – Thursday, February 25, 1858:

During this apparition, the Beautiful Lady told Bernadette to, “drink from the fountain and bathe in it.” Bernadette was puzzled; there had never been a fountain at Massabieille, or any kind of a natural spring. She began to scratch the loose gravel off the ground which encircled her. As she did so, she noticed that the ground beneath her was moist, and that a little pool was forming and bubbles were rising from it. She cupped her hands together and drank, and then washed her face. The next day, the pool was overflowing and water was dripping down over the rock. The following day, the trickle had become a real stream. Of course, it was immediately said — and has been said by skeptics ever since — that the spring was there all the time. The fact remains that Bernadette did find the spring as the result of a direct command.

The Tenth Apparition – Saturday, February 27, 1858:

On this occasion, the Beautiful Lady told Bernadette to “kiss the ground on behalf of sinners.” She immediately did so, and the crowd followed her example.

The Eleventh Apparition – Sunday, February 28, 1858:

There were approximately two thousand spectators at the Grotto that morning. The Lady asked Bernadette to tell the clergy to build a chapel on the site of the Grotto.

The Twelfth Apparition – Monday, March 1, 1858:

During this apparition, the Lady commented to Bernadette that she was not using her own Rosary, which was an accurate statement. Bernadette had been asked by Pauline Sans to use Pauline’s Rosary at the Grotto that day.

The Thirteenth Apparition – Tuesday, March 2, 1858:

Bernadette arrived at the Grotto early in the morning, prayed the Rosary in the presence of the Lady, who remained silent except for the Gloria’s.

The Fourteenth Apparition – Wednesday, March 3, 1858:

During this apparition, the Lady repeated that She wanted a chapel built by the clergy and, additionally, that She wanted people to come to this chapel in processional form. Bernadette was terribly afraid of the parish priest, Abbe Peyramale. It had been difficult for her to go to him the first time about building a chapel, but it took a great deal of courage for her to present herself to him a second time about processions. He dismissed her curtly, ordering her to tell the Beautiful Lady that the Cure of Lourdes was not in the habit of dealing with mysterious strangers; that if She wanted a chapel — if She had a right to one — She must reveal Her identity.

The Fifteenth Apparition – Thursday, March 4, 1858:

By now, most everyone in France knew that March 4th was the last of the fifteen days that Bernadette had promised the Lady that she would be present at the Grotto. Twenty thousand people were present that day, including an entire military garrison in full-dress uniform. As Bernadette approached the apparition site, a path was cleared for her, and the soldiers who accompanied her did so with respect. After the apparition, Bernadette told the crowd that she would continue coming to the Grotto because the Beautiful Lady had said nothing in the form of a farewell. The crowd was disappointed and disillusioned. They had seen Bernadette transfigured with a strange radiance, but they had hoped to also share her vision, to hear the same voice that she did, and they expected that, at the very least, the rosebush would burst into a sudden miraculous bloom.

The Sixteenth Apparition – Thursday, March 25, 1858:

During the sixteenth apparition, which occurred on the Feast of the Annunciation, the Beautiful Lady revealed her identity to Bernadette: “Que soy era Immaculado Conception”, I am the Immaculate Conception. Bernadette was not sure what this name meant, but people who needed no explanation flocked to Lourdes in greater numbers than ever before. Baron Massy, a local official, ordered Bernadette to be examined by three more physicians. They found her to be physically and mentally sound.

The Seventeenth Apparition – Wednesday, April 7, 1858:

Bernadette had never failed to bring a lighted candle to the Grotto since the first time she had been instructed to do so by the Beautiful Lady. During this apparition, she unconsciously placed one of her hands over the flame of the candle. People witnessed the flame burning through her fingers. Bernadette did not even hear the cries of horror which arose from the crowd. She continued to pray for at least fifteen minutes while the flame burned through her hand. She emerged quietly from prayer unscathed. Then Dr. Dozous took another candle and, without warning, touched the flame to her hand. Bernadette immediately cried out in pain. Shortly after this apparition, the Prefect took matters into his own hands and ordered the Grotto closed, and the rustic altar was dismantled.

The Eighteenth Apparition – Friday, July 16, 1858:

Bernadette seemed relieved that she was becoming less of a public figure. Several months had passed, and after receiving communion on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Bernadette felt an irresistible urge to return to the Grotto. Since the barricade was still in place, she and her aunt could not get as close to the sacred spot as they wanted, so they knelt in the grass, and the Beautiful Lady appeared to her one last time.

 

* * * * *

Bernadette joined the order of the Sisters of Charity. Throughout her life she remained sickly, but attended patiently to her duties as infirmarian and sacristan. She died a holy death on April 16, 1879. She was 34 years old. Bernadette was buried on the convent grounds in Nevers, France. Her body was exhumed thirty years later on September 22, 1909, in the presence of two doctors, several appointed officials, and nuns from the local convent. When Bernadette’s coffin was opened, there was no odor, and her body was completely untouched by the laws of nature.

A second exhumation took place on April 3, 1919. The body of the then declared Venerable was found in the same state of preservation as ten years earlier, except that the face was slightly discolored, due to the washing it had undergone during the first exhumation. A worker in wax was entrusted with the task of coating the face of the Saint who had been dead forty years. The sacred relic (Bernadette’s body) was placed in a coffin of gold and glass and can be viewed to this very day in the Chapel of Saint Bernadette at the motherhouse in Nevers, France.

Note: In a book by Ruth Cranston, originally published by Doubleday in 1955 there are testimonies and accounts of thousands who have claimed healing due to the miraculous waters of the Grotto of Massabieille, in Lourdes France. Hundreds of cases have been reviewed by the Medical Bureau of Lourdes and deemed to be of a supernatural nature. The water from the Grotto still flows today, and people continue to attest to the healing powers of this God-given grace.

About The Christian Mint,

The Christian Mint was conceived to offer medals with an encapsulated soil collected from the grounds of sacred Christian sites specifically where a Saint is entombed.  The purpose of this is to provide a tangible link to the respective Saint in the hope that he or she will offer heavenly protection and help to the bearer of the medal.

In addition to personally collecting the encapsulated soils I have taken all of the photographic images that appear on this website.  I guarantee all products with a seal of authenticity.

christianmint_guarantee

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