By Steve Dawson,
National Director, SPSE
I want to tell you my experience with evangelization and the Miraculous Medal of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After my conversion to the Catholic faith over 10 years ago, I felt strongly that God wanted to use me for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls. I wanted to get involved with evangelization, to respond to the mandate of Jesus to preach the Gospel to all nations, but I had no idea how I should go about doing it. At this time in my life, I never even considered street evangelization, it wasn’t even a blip on my radar. But I did have other ideas.
First, I started to talk about Jesus and His Church to friends and co-workers. I did this with mixed results, and in several instances was blessed by God who allowed me to take part in conversions and reversions to the Catholic Church. This was great, but I only had so many friends an coworkers, and I still felt called to do more. Again, I didn’t know what I should do, until I heard a story about St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Miraculous Medal. I heard that St. Maximilian used to evangelize those he had never met before by offering a person a blessed Miraculous Medal. He felt that as a sacramental, the medal was a channel of grace, Our Lady’s “Silver Bullet”, and God often could use it to bring about conversion in a person’s life. I then heard the story of Alphonse Ratisbonne, a rabid anti-Catholic agnostic, who converted to the Church and became a priest after receiving a vision of our Blessed Lady after having been given a Miraculous Medal. These story’s inspired me to purchase 1000 Miraculous Medals in bulk. I was going to use the method of St. Maximilian and see what happened.
The method I employed was simple. When I was at the grocery store, gas station, or any random place, I would pick a person and would casually ask if they would like a free Miraculous Medal. Most of the time they would say “No thank you”, and I would answer, “OK God bless” and walk away. Yet, sometimes they would accept. As I would give them the medal I would say, “Here you go. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine in 1830 and promised that whoever wore this medal would receive great graces from God. So many miracles occurred because of it that it became commonly known as the Miraculous Medal”. That simple.
Here is what I found. Most of the time, the people that I gave the medal and told the story to smiled, said thank you, and that was it. But sometimes, that simple gesture would start further conversation that God was able to use to bear fruit. For example, I was with some friends at a restaurant and I offered our waitress a Miraculous Medal, which she accepted. This started a conversation about the Catholic faith, which led to a conversation about abortion and other moral teachings of the Church. We talked for about 10 minutes in total and we left, thinking we would never see her again. 6 months later I went back to that restaurant and the waitress was there and she recognized me. She ran up and proceeded to tell me that the day we talked the first time, she had just found out that she was pregnant and that she was going to have an abortion, but after we talked, she knew that we were sent by God as a sign for her to keep her baby. Of course I responded by saying: “Great! We’re gonna get that baby baptized right?!”
Now what is the point of all this? It was at this moment that I realized that God could use us to change hearts through short and simple conversations with people that we had never met before. That baby is alive today because of the Miraculous Medal and a 10 minute conversation that I had with a person who was a complete stranger. This experience in my life, along with several others, was part of the formation that I received that convinced me that God could use seeds planted through public evangelization of strangers to change hearts.
You can do this too! Purchase some Miraculous Medals from us at bulk wholesale pricing today: http://streetevangelization.com/medals/