The St. Benedict Medal
Many of the products you see at Rugged Rosaries feature the St. Benedict Medal. This medal is one of the most famous and powerful symbols of the Catholic faith, but what does it stand for and what do all those symbols mean? Here we will explain the medal and also give you the prayers needed for the blessing of the St. Benedict medals.
Front of the St. Benedict Medal:
St. Benedict is seen holding a cross in his right hand and his Rule of St. Benedict in his left hand.
To his right is a poisoned cup which symbolizes the attempts to poison him and the miracles which saved him. To his left, is the raven which flew away with a poisoned loaf.
Above the poisoned cup and raven are the words Crux sancti patris Benedicti ("The Cross of [our] Holy Father Benedict").
Surrounding the front of the medal are the words Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur! ("May we be strengthened by his presence in the hour of our death"), since he was always regarded as the patron of a happy death.
Back of the St. Benedict Medal:
On the cross area of the back of the medal are the letters C S S M L - N D S M D, initials of the words Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Non draco sit mihi dux! ("May the holy cross be my light! May the dragon never be my overlord!").
The 4 circles containing the letters C S P B stand for Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti ("The Cross of our Holy Father Benedict").
Circling around the medal are the letters V R S N S M V - S M Q L I V B, the initials of the words Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. Ipse venena bibas! ("Begone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poison yourself!").
At the top is the more familiar word PAX which means "peace".
Brief History of the St. Benedict Medal
The medal is derived from an original symbol of St. Benedict of Nursia who lived during the 6th century. He created the Rule of St. Benedict which among other things taught how to be obedient and humble. During his life as a monk and abbot, there were several attempts to murder him through poison but each time a miracle occurred to spare him. Because of more and more miracles that became associated with St. Benedict, he became a very popular figure in his time.
The medal of St. Benedict combines a depiction of the original figure of St. Benedict of Nursia created during the time of Pope Leo IX (11th century), along with symbols which were seen on the medal again in the 17th century. It was formally approved in 1741 by Pope Benedict XIV. The modern medal in use today was first struck in 1880.
Why is St. Benedict so popular?
This saint medal is clearly rich in meaning and excels at warding off evil spirits as a sacramental. Many have been carrying and wearing St. Benedict medals for years, and thousands of miracles are attributed to St. Benedict through the intercession of these medals throughout the world. It excels in warding off evil and has often been called "the devil chaser".
Blessings for the Medal of St. Benedict
Our help is in the name of the Lord Our Father.
Response: Who made heaven and earth.
In the name of God the Father + Almighty, Who made heaven and earth, the sea 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.
Let us pray. Almighty God, the boundless Source of all good things, we humbly ask that, through the intercession of St. Benedict, Thou pourest out Thy blessings + upon these medals. May those who use them devoutly and earnestly strive to perform goods works be blessed by Thee with health of soul and body, the grace of a holy death, and remission of temporal punishment due to sin. May they also, with the help of Thy 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 Thy sight. This we ask through Christ our Lord.
The medals may then be sprinkled with holy water.