It was 1933 when the body of Catherine Labouré, a Catholic nun, was exhumed, 56 years after her death. When they opened her coffin, officials expected to find a skeleton. But in the case of Sister Catherine Labouré, they were in for a dramatic surprise.
Catherine Labouré was born in May 2, 1806, in the unremarkable village of Fain-lès-Moutiers, set within the rolling French countryside of eastern central France. Her father Pierre was a farmer, while her mother Madeleine gave birth to 11 surviving children, of whom Catherine was the ninth.
Catherine was just nine when her mother died in 1815 – the very year that Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, ending the emperor’s reign. And Catherine proved to be a remarkable child. Upon the death of her mother, she is said to have kissed a statue of the Virgin Mary and said, “Now you will be my mother.”