This large, French medal of Our Lady of Sion with the Christ child measures 1.5" across, not including the bale. Bale is ⅜" in length.
Please note there is some wear in the way of scratching to the surface of the medal, particularly to the back.
The piece is signed JB in the lower right front of the medal.
The beginnings of Our Lady of Sion are interesting. Thank you to http://www.notredamedesion.org/about/our-beginnings/ for the information. They write:
This unique vision came to be through a Jewish man, Theodore Ratisbonne, born in Strasbourg, France in 1802. At an early age in that city he became very involved in education, a value that would always mark his future decisions. His family was more culturally Jewish than religious. As many people in his day, following the French Revolution, they were in the process of being assimilated. So Theodore joined some other young men in the study of Philosophy.
Their professor Louis Bautain introduced them to a wise and learned Catholic woman, Louise Humann, who guided the group spiritually. Under her tutelage Theodore saw with greater clarity, the link between the Jewish and Christian Scriptures as forming one continuous expression of God’s faithfulness and love and the biblical call to act to bring about God’s reign.
Theodore was baptised in 1827 and ordained a priest in 1830. By 1840 in Paris, he gained a reputation as a preacher and a sound spiritual director of women. His thought and words were steeped in the Word of God.
Because of his concern for orphans and uneducated children, he established small schools in Paris and Strasbourg, aided by a group of women, who eventually wanted to form a religious community.
He received a discernment sign to do so, when on January 20, 1842, his youngest brother, Alphonse, had a mysitcal experience in a Church in Rome, during which he saw Mary, which he simply described as “light”. Within 12 days, Alphonse was baptised and he too was ordained a priest.
By the time of Theodore’s death in 1884, the Sisters of Our Lady Sion (Notre Dame de Sion) were established: Muslim, Orthodox and Christian countries. His words were: “You must have hearts larger than the world”.
Thank you for looking.
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