THE MEDAL OF ST. BENEDICT


       There is, indeed, no medal which possesses such wonderful power, and none so highly esteemed by the holy Church as the Medal of St. Benedict. Whosoever wears this Medal with devotion, trusting to the life-giving power of the holy Cross and the merits of the holy Father St. Benedict, may expect the powerful protection of this great Patriarch in his spiritual and temporal needs.

 

       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 his Rule for Monks 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 these letters. They were the initial letters of a Latin prayer of exorcism against Satan, as will be explained further on.


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, Italy, to mark the 1400th anniversary of the birth of St. Benedict. The design of this medal was produced at St. Martin's Abbey, Germany, at the request of the prior of Montecassino, Boniface Krug, O.S.B. (1838-1909). Prior Boniface was a native of Baltimore and originally a monk of St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, until he was chosen to be prior and later abbot of Montecassino.

 

       Since that time, the Jubilee Medal of 1880 has proven to be more popular throughout the Christian world than any other medal ever struck to honor St. Benedict. There is still a constant and heavy demand for this medal. Also, all Jubilee Medals must be procured from the Monastery of Montecassino.


DESCRIPTION OF THE JUBILEE MEDAL


       Since the Jubilee Medal of 1880 has all the important features ever associated with the Medal of St. Benedict, the following description of this medal can serve to make clear the nature and intent of any medal of St. Benedict, no matter what shape or design it may have.


Front Side of Medal


       On the face of the medal is the image of St. Benedict. In his right hand he holds aloft the cross as the symbol of our salvation, also reminding us of the vast work of evangelizing and civilizing England and Europe carried out mainly by the Benedictine monks and nuns, especially from the sixth to the ninth/tenth centuries. In Benedict's left hand is the Rule for Monks, which could be summed up in the words of the Prologue exhorting us to "walk in God's ways, with the Gospel as our guide."

 

       On a pedestal to the right of St. Benedict is the poisoned cup, shattered when he made the sign of the cross over it.

 

       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. Benedict.

 

       Above the cup and the raven are the Latin words: CRUX S. PATRIS BENEDICTI (The Cross of Our Holy Father Benedict).

 

       On the margin of the medal, encircling the figure of St. Benedict, are the Latin words: EIUS IN OBITU NOSTRO PRAESENTIA MUNIAMUR! (May we be strengthened by his presence in the hour of our death!). Benedictines have always regarded St. Benedict as a special patron of a happy death. He himself died in the chapel at Montecassino while standing with his arms raised up to heaven, and supported by the brethren, shortly after receiving Holy Communion.

 

       Below the figure of St. Benedict is a Latin inscription giving the origin and date of the Jubilee Medal: Abbey of Montecassino, 1880.


Reverse Side of Medal


       On the back of the medal, the cross is dominant. On the arms of the cross are the initial letters of a rhythmic Latin prayer: C S S M L! Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux! (May the holy Cross be my light!) N D S M D! Nunquam Draco Sit Mihi Dux! (The dragon never be my guide!).

 

       In the angles of the cross, the letters C S P B stand for Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti (The cross of our holy father Benedict).

 

       Above the cross is the word PAX (Peace), which has been a Benedictine motto for centuries.

 

       Around the margin of the back of the medal, the letters V R S N S M V - S M Q L I V B are the initial letters, as mentioned before, of a Latin prayer of exorcism against Satan: Vade Retro Satana! Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana! Sunt Mala Quae Libas. Ipse Venena Bibas! (Begone, Satan! Tempt me not with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poisoned cup yourself!).


THE POWER AND EFFECTS OF THE MEDAL


       Let us state here that we do not ascribe any unknown or hidden power to the Medal; a power, which the superstitious ascribe to their charms. We know wherein its power lies and we protest that the graces and favors are due, not to the gold or the silver, the brass or aluminum of the Medal, but to our faith in the merits of Christ crucified, to the efficacious prayers of the holy Father St. Benedict and to the blessings which the holy Church bestows upon the Medal and upon those who wear it. This Medal excludes every power or influence which is not from above.

 

       Through the pious use of the Medal of St. Benedict thousands of miracles and wonderful cures have been obtained. We would here mention that in the last few years we have received a number of letters relating most remarkable cures and extraordinary favors obtained by the devout use of the said Medal. It is, indeed, edifying to see how the faithful love and venerate this highly blessed Medal and how anxious they are to obtain this holy article which has proved to be a remedy for almost every evil.

 

       The Medal of St. Benedict is powerful to ward off all dangers of body and soul coming from the evil spirit. We are exposed to the wicked assaults of the devil day and night. St. Peter says, "Your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion goeth about seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). In the life of St. Benedict we see how the devil tried to do harm to his soul and body and also to his spiritual children. Also, missionaries in pagan lands use this Medal with so great effect, that it has been given the remarkable name, "The devil-chasing Medal."


The Medal is, therefore, a powerful means:


1) To destroy witchcraft and all other diabolical influences.
2) To keep away the spells of magicians, of wicked and evil-minded persons.
3) To impart protection to persons tempted, deluded or tormented by evil spirits.
4) To obtain the conversion of sinners, especially when they are in danger of death.
5) To serve as an armour in temptations against holy purity.
6) To destroy the effects of poison.
7) To secure timely and healthy birth for children.
8) To afford protection against storms and lightning.
9) Finally, the Medal has often been used with admirable effect, even for animals infected with plague or other maladies; and for fields when invaded by harmful insects.


THE USE OF THE MEDAL


       No special way of carrying or applying the Medal is prescribed. It may be worn about the neck, attached to the scapular or the Rosary, or otherwise carried about one's person. It may be dipped into the water or medicine to be given to the sick; or it may be applied to their wounds. Often it is placed in the foundations of houses, hung over the doors or on the walls of dwelling places, stables, barns or attached to automobiles, to call down God's blessing and the protection of St. Benedict, and the power of the Church's blessing. Also no particular prayers are prescribed, as the devout wearing itself is a continual silent prayer. If, however, some extraordinary favor through the use of the Medal is sought, one may make a novena or tridium, making each day the Way of the Cross, or reciting five Our Fathers and Hail Marys in honor of the five wounds of Our Lord, and saying some prayers in honor of St. Benedict. In time of temptation, it is advisable to hold the Medal in one's hand, kiss it reverently, and make use of the ejaculatory prayers on the Medal.


TWO SPECIAL USES OF THE MEDAL


       By a rescript of the Sacred Congregation of Religious (May 4, 1965), Secular Oblates of St Benedict are permitted to wear the Medal of St Benedict instead of the small cloth scapular formerly worn by Oblates.

 

       By a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites(March 6, 1959), the Blessing of St Maur over the sick is permitted to be given with a Medal of St. Benedict instead of with a relic of the True Cross, since the latter is difficult to obtain.


ANOTHER PRIVILEGE

       Those who devoutly wear the Medal of St. Benedict and pray for the propagation of his holy order, share in all the good works, Masses, Communions, Divine Office, prayers, and fasts of the entire order.


NOVENA TO SAINT BENEDICT



       Glorious Saint Benedict, sublime model of virtue, pure vessel of God’s grace! Behold me humbly kneeling at your feet. I implore you in your loving kindness to pray for me before the throne of God. To you I have recourse in the dangers that daily surround me. Shield me against my selfishness and my indifference to God and to my neighbor. Inspire me to imitate you in all things. May your blessing be with me always, so that I may see and serve Christ in others and work for His kingdom.

 

       Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces which I need so much in the trials, miseries and afflictions of life. Your heart was always full of love, compassion and mercy toward those who were afflicted or troubled in any way. You never dismissed without consolation and assistance anyone who had recourse to you. I therefore invoke your powerful intercession, confident in the hope that you will hear my prayers and obtain for me the special grace and favor I earnestly implore. {mention your petition}

 

       Help me, great Saint Benedict, to live and die as a faithful child of God, to run in the sweetness of His loving will, and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Amen.


BLESSING OF THE ST BENEDICT MEDAL


       The only medal in existence the blessing of which the Church has honored with a special exorcism and in the Roman Ritual, is the Medal of St. Benedict. As is the case in all her greater blessings, the Church begins by exorcising the medals to be blessed, in order to withdraw them from the influence of the evil spirit. Next follows the blessing proper.

 

       Medals of St. Benedict may be blessed by any priest (Instr. Sept. 26, 1964). The following English form may be used.

 

       V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

 

       R. Who made heaven and earth.

 

       In the name of God the Father + almighty, who made heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them, I exorcise these medals against the power and attacks of the evil one. May all who use these medals devoutly be blessed with health of soul and body. In the name of the Father + almighty, of his Son + Jesus Christ our Lord, and of the Holy + Spirit the Paraclete, and in the love of the same Lord Jesus Christ who will come on the last day to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire. R. Amen.

 

       Let us pray. Almighty God, the boundless source of all good things, we humbly ask that, through the intercession of St. Benedict, you pour out your blessings + upon these medals. May those who use them devoutly and earnestly strive to perform good works be blessed by you with health of soul and body, the grace of a holy life, and remission of the temporal punishment due to sin. May they also, with the help of your merciful love, resist the temptations of the evil one and strive to exercise true charity and justice toward all, so that one day they may appear sinless and holy in your sight. This we ask through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

 

       The medals are then sprinkled with holy water.


(The following has been compiled from four different sources)


       Note: If you emailed me recently in the last couple of months wanting a free St Benedict Medal, well i had a computer crash and lost all your addresses so if you still want a medal please resend your request with your address. Thank You!


       Note: I had an experience with St Benedict. I read a book about doing a novena to St Benedict. It said do a nine day novena to St Benedict and if you get no answer do another nine day novena and if still no answer do another nine day novena. Yet if still no answer after 27 days don't do any more. So in July of 1986, I started a novena 9 days before St Benedict's feast day of July 11. My petition was that I was asking if I was doing God's will and also asking if I should become a Oblate of St Benedict. I asked for a sign. So July 11 came with no answer and then I started a second novena and at the end of that novena there was still no answer. So I started a third novena as the book instructed. Then the last day of the last novena July 29 came. It was a day with a large thunderstorm and it was also our shopping day and our 4 children were small at that time. So we left for shopping late and knew it would be dark when we got back so we turned on our porch light. In our area many times thunderstorms would give all the houses in our back roads power outages. When we were done shopping we drove home and the storm was finished. We got to our house and the porch light was on. We brought in our groceries and then at night I'd often go on the hill in front of my house to pray . I went outside around 11:00 PM to pray a rosary before I went to bed. I noticed that a neighbor had no lights but they were talking. It was odd because they usually stay up till two or three in the morning. But I thought they were just talking in bed.
       The next morning I went to the post office where another of my neighbors works and she asked me why I had power. The odd thing is that the two neighbors I am talking about have their wires connected to them before and after me. I also think it may very well be that the two whole streets were out that night as was the usual case. Yet, I drew a diagram for a physics professor who is a expert in electricity and he could not figure out why we had power and the others did not. Shortly after this I became an Oblate of St Benedict.






If you would like a free Blessed St. Benedict medal,
please email me with your snail mail address