Check this out

A reader pointed me to the following from the website of Time.

This is from the White House Photo Blog of Monday 2 June 2008

The Candidates’ Lucky Charms: Barack Obama

Amongst the things that Barack Obama carries for good luck are a bracelet belonging to a soldier deployed in Iraq, a gambler’s lucky chit, a tiny monkey god and a tiny Madonna and child. For the other candidates’ good luck items, click the "next" button.


"But Father! But Father!" some of you impatiently exclaim, "So what?  This is just a pocket full of junk from what looks like is not only the most pro-abortion President we’ve had, but superstitious to boot!"

Look closer.

Every Catholic knows what that is.

This is the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, or "Miraculous Medal".

A reader sent this to me with the following:

I have been suggesting to friends that we should all be praying to Our Blessed Mother for his conversion of heart on Matters of Life.  In particular, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!"

I thought maybe this is something you may want to post, especially in light of the upcoming battle on FOCA and the recent funding of international abortions. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” He could do worse.

  2. Thomas says:

    With our mother behind us, we can’t lose…O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

  3. Hanna says:

    The Blessed Virgin trumps the monkey god any day. That’s hopeful bit of news.

  4. Aelric says:

    Our Lady next to “a monkey god”.

    Malus bonum ubi se simulat, tunc est pessimus.

    Syrus, Maxims

  5. Irish says:

    Are there two Mary medals? It looks like a Madonna and Child image right below the Miraculous Medal.

  6. Bobby Bambino says:

    Thank you for drawing this to our attention. I will pray that for his conversion (to the Catholic faith, and life issues in particular) everyday.

  7. Carmine says:

    The other Madonna is the image of Mary, Help of Christians!

  8. ED says:

    Boy Father you are sounding desparate,why dont you bury a St. Joseph’s statue at the White House maybe Barack and family will move out then. Geeezzzzz

  9. Thomas says:


    “So Obama is a superstitious pagan. Not surprised, or are we supposed to ignore the monkey God put on the same level as the miraculous medal?”

    Indeed he is, and I am sure he feels the miraculous medal is just what the caption claimed a “good luck charm”. But the fact remains that he carries a powerful sacramental, and we need to beseech the intercession of Mary to affect his conversion- even if he is carrying a monkey-god charm- which is of course powerless.

  10. Dr. Eric says:

    I agree that he carries these things out of superstition. But if she could convert Alphonse Ratisbonne…..

  11. Alan F. says:

    This reminds me of the little man from ‘The Mummy’ who had amulets of all the religions around his neck, so he was likely to have the right one somewhere around his neck.

  12. Thomas says:

    And one more point to follow up from my above comment- I know the miraculous medal has no power per se, but I think its presence in that photo is a sign to us where to direct our prayers…and that’s pretty darn powerful.

  13. SMJ says:

    We shouldn’t forget Our Lady HOPE OF CHRISTIANS is also with him…

  14. Just a warning: If you post asinine comments here, I will delete them and probably toss you from the blog.

  15. kate says:

    The Miraculous Medal-wow!Our Lady has him in her sights..
    I’ll be praying for him.

  16. This puts me in mind of Herod Antipas, who was interested in Jesus only in hopes of seeing him perform tricks. So far as I know, he is the only person in the Gospels to whom Jesus gave the silent treatment. Then Herod, out of frustration, dressed Jesus as a clown and sent him back to Pilate.

    What will Jesus think of Obama using his Blessed Mother as a good luck charm, and ranking her with a monkey god?

  17. Jim says:

    I saw this when it was printed in the UK press a few days ago and spotted the Miraculous Medal.
    I’m afraid that my reaction was more judgemental than yours. My first thought was that some dopey Yank had given it to Mr Obama for good luck…. a bit like the monkey god. Hopefully you are correct and that a non-superstitious Catholic has given the sacramental to him as a focus for prayer. I must be less judgemental.

    As an aside, I noticed a few years ago that a clerical friend had one on his pocket watch, so every time he looked at the time he could ask the BVM ‘pray for us who have recourse to thee’.

    I now have one on my watch.

  18. irishgirl says:

    I second Dr. Eric’s post regarding Alphonse Ratisbonne….if Our Lady converted him through her Miraculous Medal, then why not convert Obama through the same Medal?

    ‘O Mary conceived without sin’, Patroness of the USA, please convert Obama…make him see the error of his ways…

  19. ckdexterhaven says:

    My young daughter is reading a (kids) book about the Miraculous Medal, and St. Catherine Laboure. We have been praying the rosary so fervently. I will keep praying with renewed effort. I will also pray that he not let the Miraculous Medal “consort” with that idiot monkey charm!

    Keep praying folks, Our Lady wants to help our tiniest citizens.

  20. Matt of South Kent says:

    “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!”

    Our Lady of Victory, pray for us!

  21. Dom says:

    And is the medal just below the MM, one of Mary Help of Christians?

  22. Dan says:


    I’m not sure whether or not you are joking. Is it that you are saying that there is no hope for conversion? If that is the case, then that’s a big dose of despair in my eyes. Never give up hope.

  23. rosie says:

    Don’t give Obeast credit or benefit of the doubt that he doesn’t deserve. That filthy singer that profanes the name Madonna wears a crucifix. She said she wears it because it is sexy because it is a naked man. I’m sure Obeast is profaning the Miraculous Medal as nothing more than a talisman. Or worse. I guarantee it.

    “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us WHO HAVE RECOURSE to thee.”

  24. If he’s carrying THAT there is more than hope for him and all those unborn babies. Better get some Novenas going to OUr Lady of the Miraculous Medal, particularly as February 11 is not far off.

  25. peregrinus says:

    I was thinking more on the line of a perpetual Miraculous Metal Novena or at least the Memorare (which is part of the novena) for his conversion.

  26. Nicola C says:

    This picture was originally taken when the then Senator Obama visited New Mexico during his campaign (or at least it was all over our local papers here when he was here in June 08). In the story I read here it said he had 50 – 100 trinkets and he picks a handful each day. Since there is such a substantial Hispanic & Catholic demographic here, there was some debate as to whether or not he sincerely carries a Miraculous Medal or if it was a just a gimmick. Regardless of his motives, I pray that Mary, through her Son will help bring about his conversion.

  27. John says:


    I have been watching this develop on the Catholic Answers Forum. I believe it is a positive approach that has a far better chance of success than the many hateful things I have been reading there.

    The Blessed Mother is our champion and her intercession in this matter can only bring good

    John I

  28. peregrinus says:

    Nicola C

    True, but even if he does not carry it every day and still has it in his possession, just the proximity to him may intensify the prayers for his conversion. Just as the Memorare states: “Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your assistance, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.” I think we should take that to heart.

  29. Edward Martin says:

    I am suprised by some of the posts, I thought we were supposed to love everyone, especially our enemies? Our family has been praying for Obama’s conversion for some time. These things can take time.

    I am approximately the same age as Obama and grew up in a school system where one was tought all about “birth control” and nothing about love. University was all about beer and sex, and anything “higher” in the education involved lighting a match. I am part of a generation where it is infinitely easier to get “laid” than to love. In my late twenties, a friend of mine’s girlfriend got pregnant and the baby was aborted. I thought nothing of it, when they said “it wasn’t the right time”. As far as abortion was concerned it “grossed me out, but who am I to say what a woman can do with her body?”

    First I converted to the Church (thanks to my wife!), and then to the Truth. Conversion does occur, but often not with bolts of lightning.

    Perhaps some day my seven year-old son will tell his grandchildren how the MM converted the President of the United States much in the same way we speak of Ratisbonne today.

    Keep praying “O Mary conceived without sin…”

  30. Maureen says:

    50-100 luckpieces? He really is a man without an identity of his own. Sad.

  31. Daniel Latinus says:

    Looks like President Obama met the Militia Immaculatae!

    St. Maximilian Kolbe encouraged members of the MI to give out Miraculous Medals. St. Maximilian amended the Miraculous Medal prayer:

    O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee,
    and pray for those who do not have recourse to thee,
    particularly the enemies of Holy Church and all those recommened to thee.

    (St. Maximilian’s prayer said, “particularly for the Masons”, but the MI modified it after Vatican II to encompass all those opposed to the Church.)

    For more information on the MI:

  32. sacerdosinaeternum says:

    The Medal of the Immaculate Conception is not called Miraculous for nothing. It has converted countless souls, especially- Alphonse Ratisbonne and Cardinal John Henry Newman. We should pray to our Lady that her Immaculate Conception totally open to life will convert the heart of President Obama who carries the medal.

  33. Kathy says:

    I must be cynical but when I saw this (and noted the date) I immediately thought it was staged to snag the Catholic vote. Seems to me that the medal gets pride of place in the photo–top right and even positioned straight up and down. But I do hope it\’s still in his pocket.

  34. pilgrim says:

    Imagine the happiness of the little old lady that gave the President the medal. Like the young boy offering fishes and loaves and then seeing Jesus get to work.

    Looks like Jesus and his Mother have gone for gold this time, using the “most powerful man in the world” to open his hands and present Our Lady’s medal. That in itself is pretty ‘miraculous”.

    The power of God is unfathomable!

  35. Perhaps the first brick is there? though, he is obviously confused about things.

    Though, maybe it is deeper rooted in his muslim background (his father WAS a muslim). Muslims have a great respect for our lady, and Fatima was named for a sultan’s daughter I recall. Gee, amazing enough, our Lady appeared there. Odd sort of coincidences, if you truly believe in coincidence, and not in the presence of God in the whispering wind of the Elijah story.

    Our Lady can do amazing things, as any mother can and will do for her children. But conversion can and does take time, and it is never through any effort of our own

  36. Ed says:

    Edward Martin – “I thought we were supposed to love everyone, especially our enemies?”

    You thought right; it is so hard a Truth to hang on to, though; reminders are ever-necessary. Thank you.

    Also, providentially, I received the monthly email newsletter from the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal this morning…

    The Shrine is dated from 1879, and is simply beautiful. There is a very nice virtual tour on the webpage:

    These folks, Vincentians, are needing help with church window restoration… some small thing we might help Mary with.

  37. I’m with Maureen.

    A man who believes in no one thing will try every thing.
    He believes like he politics, hedging his bets.

    I pray for his conversion.

    Ed: LOL!

  38. Allena says:

    BUT!!! Is it blessed?

    If he is carrying a blessed miraculous medal, then there is hope there for sure.

    We really should pray for the man. Look at all the people who were way worse and converted, like me. Well ok, I wasn’t quite as bad, but I followed all the liberalism dogma…

    Ah Lord forgive them/me, they really do not know any better.

  39. Joe says:

    Some of those were given to him by people praying for him on the campaign trail and others he has held for a long time.

    Please remember that Obama is a professing Protestant Christian so yea… the Medal is much more important to a follower of Christ than a carved gold monkey for luck… even if he is not aware of the full potential.

    There are many Pro-Choice Protestants who disagree with us on when life begins… I believe we should be praying for Obama, but also for our Brethren who disagree. Even if Obama changes his mind, he is a very rational person. As the President of diverse group of people, it will be difficult to force his new beliefs on others when the majority (almost 70% – and many of them “Christians”) of the people he represents disagree.

    Our 4th child was breach so we were going to do an external versioning last week… they often do not work. Just before the procedure I got the overwhelming sense that our Lady was with us. The procedure worked and we are looking for a natural delivery next week. Later that night I found out a dear friend was had decided to pray a rosary for us and he began at the exact time we felt her presence.

    Our Lady’s soul Glorifies the Lord, may we also!

    “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!”

  40. dymphna says:

    This is political hooey. If he really carries that many
    charms he’d sound like a slot machine everytime he took
    a step. Don’t be so desperate for a miracle thay you become

  41. tim mccarthy says:

    When he was interviewed by Rick Warren, and questioned about the beginning of life he squirmed on camera. B.H. Obama was self-aware at that time and was uncomfortable with his answering the question. That’s all of the crack needed for his conversion. Rev up your Rosaries and wear out those beads, he doesn’t stand a chance.

  42. depeccatoradvitam says:

    The “coin” below the Miraculous Medal is a well worn Gaurdian Angel coin just like the one that Catholic Relief Services hands out and like the ones I give to my Boy Scouts.

  43. Jane says:

    I saw this picture on another website a few days ago. It was a bit clearer so I had a good look at it.

    A couple of things come to mind. What a messy pocket Obama has. He seems to be superstitious. Now onto the religious objects: firstly the Miraculous Medal. There is a difference here between Ratibonne and Obama. The medal Ratibonne was given was surely blessed. This is unlikely to be the case with the one that Obama has in his pocket collection. Politicans use anything they can to impress. Maybe he thinks this could win the “Catholic vote”, although any Catholic who voted for him should rush to Confession and repent.

    The next Catholic object he has in his pocket collection is a medal of Mary, Help of Christians, the patron saint of my country, Australia.

    I am happy to see both the Miraculous Medal and the medal of Mary, Help of Christians in Obama’s collection, because it will point us in the right direction to pray for this president who has difficulty understanding that the unborn have every right to live and be born.

    I hope to see him converted.

    My website has the history of Mary, Help of Christians. It is really interesting that it is the Miraculous Medal and Mary Help of Christians in his collection.

    Mary Help of Christians saved Christianity in Europe.

    Take the hint and pray to Our Lady under these titles for the conversion of Obama.

    The history of the devotion to Mary, Help of Christians is at:

    Both these devotion seem absolutely relevant to praying for the conversion of Obama.

    It is a work of charity to pray for his conversion and it is lousy to let him be as he is now.

  44. peregrinus says:

    We need to get a national (and even international) prayer crusade organized. The more we get into this crusade, the more powerful it will be.

  45. Brian says:

    O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

  46. Edward Martin says:

    As my wife said when I showed her the photo, “Mother Mary is on the job!”

  47. Fr Eric says:

    Remember, Obama is neither Christian nor Muslim. He is a pure secular humanist who cannot escape from his anthropoligical need to have mystery. His interview for the religion ed. of the Chicago Sun in 04 shows that he is not a Christian. Our Lord, through His Mother, can work miracles. Luck charms might be magically delicious for some, but for Obama they are an idication of the pride and emptiness in his life.

  48. Michele Rourke says:

    The day Obama was sworn in, I was physically sick to my stomach. Everyone at my job mobbed the break room to see “history” being made. All I could think was this was a sad day for all our precious unborn babies and those born from botched abortions. I didn’t watch even one minute of the inaugural events because I was truly sickened.
    Many parishes in our diocese had Masses in the evening of inaugural day for Obama’s conversion.
    If anyone can melt his hardened heart, Our beautiful Blessed Mother can. Remember, even Martin Luther uttered her name at the moment of his death because although broken away from the Church, he believed that Our Lady had special graces.
    Let’s keep praying that Our Lady is relentless, Obama won’t even know what hit him.
    Nothing is impossible with God……
    Michele R. Syracuse, NY

  49. Hidden One says:

    Now we need a green scapular in the White House.

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