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The Order of Saint Benedict

The Medal of Saint Benedict

The Medal or Cross of Saint Benedict
Medals, crosses, rosaries, statues, paintings and other
religious articles have long been used as a means of fostering and expressing our religious devotion to God and the saints. Icons, or painted images of Christ and the saints, are especially popular among Eastern Christians as an aid to Christian piety and devotion. The use of any religious article is therefore intended as a means of reminding us of God and of stirring up in us a ready willingness and desire to serve God and our neighbor. With this understanding we reject any use of religious articles as if they were mere charms or had some magic power to bring us good luck or better health. Such is not the Christian attitude.

Origin of the Medal of Saint Benedict
For the early Christians, the cross was a favorite symbol and badge of their faith in Christ.
From the writings of St. Gregory the Great (540-604), we know that St. Benedict had a deep faith in the Cross and worked miracles with the sign of the cross. This faith in, and special devotion to, the Cross was passed on to succeeding generations of Benedictines. Devotion to the Cross of Christ also gave rise to the striking of medals that bore the image of St. Benedict holding a cross aloft in his right hand and hisRule for Monasteries in the other hand. Thus, the Cross has always been closely associated with the Medal of St. Benedict, which is often referred to as the Medal-Cross of St. Benedict. In the course of time, other additions were made, such as the Latin petition on the margin of the medal, asking that by St. Benedict's presence we may be strengthened in the hour of death, as will be explained later. We do not know just when the first medal of St. Benedict was struck. At some point in history a series of capital letters was placed around the large figure of the cross on the reverse side of the medal. For a long time the meaning of these letters was unknown, but in 1647 a manuscript dating back to 1415 was found at the Abbey of Metten in Bavaria, giving an explanation of the letters. They are the initial letters of a Latin prayer of exorcism against Satan, as will be explained below.

Benedict. shattered when he made the sign of the cross over it. On the margin of the medal. Above the cup and the raven are the Latin words: Crux s. The cross reminds us of the zealous work of evangelizing and civilizing England and Europe carried out mainly by the Benedictine monks and nuns. Boniface Krug OSB (1838-1909). no matter what shape or design it may legitimately have. Benedict. On a pedestal to the left is a raven about to carry away a loaf of poisoned bread that a jealous enemy had sent to St. the Jubilee Medal of 1880 has proven to be more popular throughout the Christian world than any other medal ever struck to honor St. S. especially for the sixth to the ninth/tenth centuries. P. Benedict is the poisoned cup. Benedict had received Holy Communion. C. encircling the figure of Benedict. Benedict as a special patron of a happy death. Prior Boniface was a native of Baltimore and originally a monk of St. B. Since that time. supported by the brothers of the monastery. Pennsylvania. with the Gospel as our guide. He himself died in the chapel at Montecassino while standing with his arms raised up to heaven. at the request of the prior of Montecassino. shortly after St. Very Rev. patris Benedicti (The Cross of our holy father Benedict). the Christian's symbol of salvation. In his right hand he holds the cross.The Jubilee Medal of Montecassino The above features were finally incorporated in a newly designed medal struck in 1880 under the supervision of the monks of Montecassino. are the Latin words: Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur! (May we be strengthened by his presence in the hour of our death!). the following description of this medal can serve to make clear the nature and intent of any medal of St. Benedict." On a pedestal to the right of St. Rule and Raven In St. Italy. . Vincent Archabbey. Description of the Jubilee Medal Because the Jubilee Medal of 1880 has all the important features ever associated with the Medal of St. Benedict's left hand is his Rule for Monasteries that could well be summed up in the words of the Prolog exhorting us to "walk in God's ways. Latrobe. to mark the 1400th anniversary of the birth of St. until he was chosen to become prior and latter archabbot of Montecassino. Benedict. Martin's Archabbey. Beuron. Germany. Benedictines have always regarded St. The Cross of Eternal Salvation On the face of the medal is the image of Saint Benedict. The design of this medal was produced at St. Benedict.

attached to one's rosary. Peace Above the cross is the word pax (peace). the letters C S P B stand for Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti (The cross of our holy father Benedict)." as St.S M Q L I V B are the initial letters. as mentioned above. The medal is a prayer of exorcism against Satan. wherever we are. Benedict. and upon our homes and possessions. The lessons found there can be pondered over and over to bring true peace of mind and heart into our lives as we struggle to overcome the weaknesses of our human nature and realize that our human condition is not perfect. It can be worn on a chain around the neck. a prayer of petition that we may with Christian courage "walk in God's ways. on the walls of barns and sheds. 1880).Monte Cassino Below Benedict we read: ex SM Casino MDCCCLXXX (from holy Monte Cassino. The purpose of using the medal in any of the above ways is to call down God's blessing and protection upon us. or placed in one's car or home. A profitable spiritual experience can be ours if we but take the time to study the array of inscriptions and representations found on the two sides of the medal. kept in one's pocket or purse. This is the medal struck to commemorate the 1400th anniversaryof the birth of Saint Benedict. or in one's place of business. a prayer for strength in time of temptation. especially through the intercession of St. Benedict urges us. that has been a Benedictine motto for centuries. The medal is often put into the foundations of houses and building. Drink the poison yourself!) Use of the Medal There is no special way prescribed for carrying or wearing the Medal of St. Around the margin of the back of the medal. a prayer that the Cross of Christ be our light and guide. it becomes. Benedict. a prayer of firm rejection of all that is evil. a prayer for peace among ourselves and among the nations of the world. On the arms of the cross are the initial letters of a rhythmic Latin prayer: Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux! (May the holy cross be my light! May the dragon never be my guide!). In the angles of the cross. the cross is dominant. as it were. By the conscious and devout use of the medal. the letters V R S N S M V . with the Gospel as our guide. of a Latin prayer of exorcism against Satan: Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. but that with the help of God and the intercession of the saints our condition can become better. Reverse Side of the Medal Crux mihi lux On the back of the medal. . a constant silent prayer and reminder to us of our dignity as followers of Christ. Ipse venena bibas! (Begone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil.

Benedict instead of with a relic of the True Cross. Benedict are permitted to wear the Medal of St. May all who use these medals devoutly be blessed with health of soul and body. and remission of the temporal punishment due to sin. . so that one day they may appear sinless and holy in your sight. you pour out your blessings + upon these medals. By a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites (6 March 1959). Christ our Lord. This we ask though Christ our Lord. Benedict instead of the small black cloth scapular formerly worn.not necessarily a Benedictine (Instr. and the world by fire. of the Son + Jesus Christ our Lord. The medals are then sprinkled with holy water. we humbly ask that. the grace of a holy life. 1168). Benedict can serve as a constant reminder of the need for us to take up our cross daily and "follow the true King. Benedict urges us in the Prolog of his Rule. Approved Blessing of the Medal of St. In the name of the Father + almighty. Almighty God. the boundless source of all good things. R. In the name of God the Father + almighty. The following English form may be used." and thus learn "to share in his heavenly kingdom. since the latter is difficult to obtain.The Medal of St. May they also with the help of your merciful love. and of the Holy + Spirit the Paraclete. Maur over the sick is permitted to be given with a Medal of St. Benedict Medals of Saint Benedict are sacramentals that may be blessed legitimately by any priest or deacon -. Let us pray. the seas and all that is in them. and in the love of the same Lord Jesus Christ who will come on the last day to judge the living and the dead. Our help is in the name of the Lord. through the intercession of Saint Benedict. resist the temptation of the evil one and strive to exercise true charity and justice toward all. the Blessing of St." as St. Amen. 26 Sept. who made heaven and earth.. 1964. May those who use them devoutly and earnestly strive to perform good works be blessed by you with health of soul and body. V. I exorcise these medals against the power and attacks of the evil one. Two Special Uses of the Medal By a rescript of the Sacred Congregation of Religious (4 May 1965) lay Oblates of St. Who made heaven and earth. Can. Amen.

JMJ Totally Catholic and Catholic Supply are retail distributors that offer online a wide selection of modern spin-offs such as "Benedictine" rosaries and crucifixes that feature the Medal of Saint Benedict as a component. Martin de Elizalde OSB. Authentic 1880 Jubilee-design Medals Authentic. . Collegeville. Benedictine medals (Monte Cassino. "La Medella de San Benito. Proclaim your faith and devotion with asweatshirt or mouse pad. © 1999. offers high quality wholesale lots. Abt Albert. 4/89 . Johnson1836. ALTENÄHR OSB. Barazante. Saint Cloud. 1880) have been available since 1926 in a wide variety of sizes and materials from Liturgical Press. Nebraska. Beuronese-style. Bibliography and Web Resources La ABADÍA de SAN BENITO (Lujan. AR).7/01). CH. MN 56321. Liturgical Press uses the same high quality supplier in Italy that is used by Christ the King Priory in Schuyler. Their Benedictine Mission House also sells Benedictine medals at quite reasonable prices. Spread the Good News of Our Salvation in the Cross of Jesus Illuminate your friends with a colorful needlework version of the Medal of Saint Benedict electronic postcard. Facetten der Benedikt-Verehrung und benediktinischer Frömmigkeit (Abtei Kornelimünster:Spirituelles. 24 April 1980. La Genesi features Benedictine items crafted in Italy. Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti: Die Benedikt-Medaille. ABBAYE SAINT BENOÎT de PORT-VALOIS. La médaille de S. Blessing of Saint Maur Blessing of Saint Maurus over the Sick with the Medal of Saint Benedict invokes the power of the Cross and the healing of the Holy Spirit. Benoît. Italy." abridged from the article below by Mons.Permissu superiorum Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.

Collegeville." The Scriptorium IX (1949) 101-. 1895. "The Medal of St. Essai sur l'origine. ELIZALDE. Ravensburg: Kitz. CORBIERRE. Origen y efectos admirables de la cruz o medalla de San Benito abad. Bedeutung. 1895. Das St. and enlarged. VETH. LA MEDAILLE-CRUCIFIX DE SAINT BENOîT de La Mission saint Benoît. Benedict.osb.. "Medal of Saint Benedict. Liturgical Press. Ablasse u. Martin OSB. KNIEL. A.. John's Abbey. La edicion mexicana. rev. 1980.) The medal or cross of St. Atchison: Abbey Student Press. MN 56321. Mons. Imprenta Guadalupana de Reyes Velasco. wunderbare Wirkungen. ihre Geschichte. Pablo en la Via de Ostia. 2.. Belmont Abbey Press. OSB.html . Benoit. por Don Zelly-Jacobuzj del Monte Casino. Adélard OSB. 1913. 1923. la signification et les privileges de la medaille ou croix de S. Espiritualidad : "La Cruz de San Benito" Revista Coloquio: Revista de la Abadía de San Benito (Lujan. von HECHT. The Medal or Cross of St. Benedict. Benediktsmedaille. Michael OSB. Martín de. Paris. 1862. All rights reserved / www. rev. 1996. 2 v. Saint John's Abbey OSB Index | General OSB Information Rev. AR). de Legarreta. SAINT JOHN'S ABBEY (Collegeville.. Minn. Numismatique Benedictine: histoire scientifique et liturgique des croix et des medailles de Saint Benoit. Minn. ZELLI-JACOBUZI.BOUVILLIERS.. PATTERSON. St. Aufl. Medalha e Oração de São Bento. Prosper OSB. 11th ed. Benedict's College. abad de S. 1932. 1901. Die St. 1906. patriarche des moines d'occident d'apres des documents inedits . Rome. MOSTEIRO de SÃO BENITO do RIO de JANEIRO. Bernardine OSB. Poitiers. I:4 (1998)." Catholic Encyclopedia. Leopoldo. Traducida de la 6a edicion francesa por M. OTT. Benedict. Benedict. GUERANGER. Cornelius. 07-Dec-2008 / © Copyright 1980-2008 by OSB. J.. St. The Medal-Cross of St.M. Benedikts-Kreuz. 1866. second ed. Mexico.

in the confident hope that thou wilt hear my prayers and obtain for me the special grace and favor I so earnestly implore (mention it). Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces of which I stand so much in need. I implore thy loving heart to pray for me before the throne of God. miseries and afflictions of life. "Jesus. Save Souls" . May thy blessing be with me always.Prayer to St. sublime model of all virtues. Benedict. and mercy toward those who were afflicted or troubled in any way. humbly kneeling at thy feet. To thee I have recourse in all the dangers which daily surround me. to be ever submissive to His holy will. Amen. Thou didst never dismiss without consolation and assistance anyone who had recourse to thee. Help me. to live and die as a faithful child of God. compassion. O great St. Thy heart was always so full of love. if it be for the greater glory of God and the welfare of my soul. I love You. Mary. in the trials. I therefore invoke thy powerful intercession. pure vessel of God's grace! Behold me. Benedict. so that I may shun whatever God forbids and avoid the occasions of sin. Shield me against my enemies. and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Benedict O glorious St. inspire me to imitate thee in all things.