|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.
ORIGIN OF THE MEDAL
The origin of the Medal probably
dates back to the time of St. Benedict himself, of whom we
know that, in his frequent combats
with the evil spirit, he generally made use of the Sign of
the Cross and wrought many miracles thereby. He also taught
his disciples to use the Sign of our redemption against the
assaults of Satan and in other dangers. St. Maurus and St.
Placidus, his first and most renowned disciples, wrought
their numerous miracles through the power of the holy Cross and
the name and by the merits of their holy Founder.
The Medal of St. Benedict became more widely known through the
following wonderful occurrence: Bruno, afterwards Pope Leo IX,
had in his youth been bitten by a venomous reptile, in consequence
of which he was seriously ill for two months. He had lost the
use of speech and was soon reduced to a skeleton. All hopes of
his recovery had been abandoned, when suddenly he beheld a luminous
ladder that reached to Heaven, from which descended a venerable
old man wearing the habit of a monk. It was St. Benedict, bearing
in his hand a radiant cross, with which he touched the swollen
face of Bruno and instantly cured him. Then the apparition disappeared.
Bruno, who had been healed in such a miraculous manner, later
on entered the Order of St. Benedict. He ascended the papal throne
in the year 1048 under the name of Leo IX and was renowned in
the Church for his sanctity, his devotion to the holy Cross and
to St. Benedict. Through this pope the Medal of St. Benedict
was enriched with special blessings, and its veneration spread
everywhere. The use of the Medal was solemnly approved and recommended
to the faithful by Pope Benedict XIV in 1742.
THE BLESSING OF THE MEDAL OF ST. BENEDICT
The Medal of St. Benedict must be blessed by a Benedictine
Father, or by a priest especially authorized. [The blessing
be given by any priest (Instr., 26 Sept. 1964; Can. 1168).
Also, Dom Gueranger states that the Medal is powerful even
without the special Benedictine blessing.--Publisher, 1995].
There are three solemn prayers of the Church for the blessing
of the Medal.
The first prayer is an exorcism of the wicked spirit, to make
void his evil influence, with the earnest petition that the Medal
be for the welfare of the body and soul of the wearer. The second
prayer is a fervent petition:
O Almighty God, the Giver of all good gifts, we humbly beseech
Thee that Thou wouldst bestow, through the intercession of the
holy Father St. Benedict, Thy blessing upon these Medals, their
letters and characters designed by Thee, that all who wear them
and strive to perform good works may obtain health of body and
soul, the grace of salvation, the indulgences conceded to us,
and by the assistance of Thy mercy, escape the snares and deceptions
of the devil and appear holy and stainless in Thy sight. Through
Christ Our Lord. Amen
The third prayer is very impressive in virtue of the detailed
and solemn commemoration of the agony, sufferings and death of
After the blessing, the Medals cannot be sold; otherwise, the
blessing is lost. Medals must be bought before they are blessed.
DESCRIPTION OF THE MEDAL
We distinguish two types of the Medal
of St. Benedict: the ordinary medal, and that of Monte Casino,
which is known
as the Jubilee
[or Centenary] Medal. The latter has been enriched with
a great number of indulgences, especially with the famous Toties
plenary indulgence on All Souls' Day. We describe here
the Jubilee Medal.
In the year 1880 the venerable Benedictine Order celebrated
the 1400th anniversary of the birth of its glorious founder.
The beautiful Jubilee Medal was struck on this occasion, and
since that time the Monastery of Monte Cassino has the sole privilege
of striking this Medal. Hence all Jubilee medals must be procured
from the Monastery of Monte Cassino.
On one side the Medal has a cross, the sign of our redemption,
the protecting shield given us by God to ward off the fiery arrows
of the evil spirit.
In the angles of the cross are found these
four letters: C.S.P.B. They stand for the words: Crux Sancti
Patris Benedicti --" The
Cross of the Holy Father Benedict."
On the vertical bar of the cross itself are found the letters:
C.S.S.M.L., and on the horizontal bar of the cross: N.D.S.M.D.
Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux,
Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux
May the holy Cross be my light,
Let not the dragon be my guide.
Round the margin of the Medal, beginning at the right hand on
top, we have the following letters: V.R.S.N.S.M.V.--S.M.Q.L.I.V.B.,
They stand for the verses:
Vade Retro, Satana!
Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana.
Sunt Mala Quae Libas
Ipse Venena Bibas.
The English words are:
Suggest not vain things to me.
Evil is the cup thou offerest;
Drink thou thine own poison.
The reverse of the Medal bears the image of St. Benedict holding
in his right hand the Cross, in the power of which he wrought
so many miracles, and in his left hand bearing the holy Rule,
which leads all its followers by the way of the Cross to eternal
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 initials ( C.S.P.B.) are found on the other side of the
medal in the angles of the Cross -- see above.]
Round the margin is the inscription: Eius
in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur--"May his presence
protect us in the hour of our death."
Below St. Benedict we read: ex SM Casino MDCCCLXXX (from holy
Monte Cassino, 1880).
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
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
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 that 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 to 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 roaring lion, goeth
about seeking whom he may devour." (1 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. Father
Paul of Moll, saintly Flemish Benedictine wonder-worker (1824-1896),
frustrated the evil doings of the spirit of darkness chiefly
through the use of the Medal of St. Benedict, which has proved
a most powerful protection against the snares and delusions of
the old enemy. Missionaries in pagan lands use this Medal with
so great effect that it has been given the remarkable name, "The
The Medal is, therefore, a powerful means:
To destroy witchcraft and all other diabolical influences.
To keep away the spells of magicians, of wicked and evil-minded
To impart protection to persons tempted, deluded or tormented
by evil spirits.
To obtain the conversion of sinners, especially when they are
in danger of death.
To serve as an armor in temptations against holy purity.
To destroy the effects of poison.
To secure a timely and healthy birth for children.
To afford protection against storms and lightning.
To serve as an efficacious remedy for bodily afflictions and
a means of protection against contagious diseases.
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.