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The Medal of St. Benedict, The Origin, Blessings & Prayer

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  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 in 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 can now 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 Our Lord.

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 Quoties plenary indulgence on All Souls' Day. We describe here only 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. They signify:

Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux,
Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux
This means:


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:
Begone, Satan!
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 light.

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 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 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 devil-chasing Medal."

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 persons.
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.

 
     
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