The Jubilee Medal of St. Benedict
This old and powerful sacramental deserves an in-depth treatment, as it gives a kind of practical incarnation of the main purpose of this book. This medal has long been regarded as especially efficacious in protecting its wearers against demonic attacks, and securing a number of special graces. Let us take a closer look at the inscriptions on its two sides.
On the front of the medal we find St. Benedict holding a Cross in one hand, and the Rule of St. Benedict in the other. At his sides are the words “Crux S. Patris Benedicti” (“The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict”), and below his feet: “Ex S M Casino MDCCCLXXX” (“From the holy mount of Casino, 1880”). On that date, Monte Cassino was given the exclusive right to produce this medal, and special Jubilee indulgences were added. Still on this front side of the medal we find inscribed in a circle the words: “Ejus in obitu nostro presentia muniamur” (“May his presence protect us in our hour of death”).
The reverse side of the medal is where the real exorcistic force reveals itself. In the center is a Cross. The Cross, which St. Benedict so loved and often used as a powerful exorcism, is the sign before which even Dracula shrinked. The vertical beam of the Cross bears the letters C.S.S.M.L., and the horizontal beam, the letters N.D.S.M.D. These are the first letters of the words: CRUX SACRA SIT MIHI LUX, May the Holy Cross be a light unto me, NON DRACO SIT MIHI DUX. And may the Dragon never be my guide. The four large letters at the corners of the Cross, C S P B, stand for CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI: The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict.
We are not through yet. In addition to the “Pax” (“peace”) motto at the top, we find the following letters in a circle around the margin of this side: V.R.S.N.S.M.V.: S.M.Q.L.I.V.B. It almost looks masonic; except, of course, the Benedictines are quite willing to tell you what the letters stand for, and they are enough to make any secret society get the shakes: VADE RETRO SATANA; NUNQUAM SUADE MIHI VANA. Get behind me, Satan; Never suggest vain thoughts to me. SUNT MALA QUAE LIBAS; The cup you offer is evil; IPSE VENENA BIBAS! Drink the poison yourself!
This richly indulgenced medal can be worn around the neck, or be attached to one’s Rosary, or simply kept in a pocket or purse. The pious intention of wearing such an object, together with the Church’s powerful blessing and intercessory power, make it into an unspoken prayer which has been shown to be of great help in maintaining holy purity, bringing about conversions, protecting against inclement weather and contagious disease.
Prayer To St. Benedict
O glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of all virtues, pure vessel of God’s grace! Behold me, humbly kneeling at thy feet. I implore thy loving heart to pray for me before the throne of God. To thee I have recourse in all the dangers which daily surround me. Shield me against my enemies, inspire me to imitate thee in all things.
May thy blessing be with me always, so that I may shun whatever God forbids and avoid the occasions of sin. Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces of which I stand so much in need, in the trials, miseries and afflictions of life.
Thy heart was always so full of love, compassion, and mercy towards those who were afflicted or troubled in any way. Thou didst never dismiss without consolation and assistance any one who had re-course to thee. I therefore invoke thy powerful intercession, 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), if it be for the greater glory of God and the welfare of my soul. Help me, O great St. Benedict, to live and die as a faithful child of God, to be ever submissive to His holy will, and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Amen.
Origin And Explanation Of The Medal
St. Benedict (born at Nursia, Italy, in 480) had a profound veneration for the holy Cross and for our Saviour Crucified. In virtue of the Sign of the Cross, he wrought many miracles and exercised great power over the spirits of darkness. In consequence of the great veneration in which St. Benedict was held from the early Middle Ages, it followed that a Medal was struck, one side of which represents St. Benedict holding the Cross in one hand and the Holy Rule in the other. Around the image of St. Benedict are these words in Latin “May his presence protect us in the hour of death.” St. Benedict has ever been the patron of the dying, because of the circumstances attending his own most glorious death, for he breathed forth his soul while standing in prayer before the Most Blessed Sacrament.
The reverse of the Medal shows the image of the Cross. Around the margin are the initials of Latin words which form verses supposed to have originated with the holy Father Benedict himself. The English translation is: “Be gone Satan! Suggest not to me thy vain things. The cup thou profferest me is evil; drink thou thy poison.” In the angles formed by the arms of the Cross are the letters C.S.P.B., signifying “Cross of the holy Father Benedict.” The letters on the Cross itself have this meaning: “May the holy Cross be my light; let not the dragon be my guide.”
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.
Often it is placed in the fields, the foundations of buildings or attached to automobiles to call down God’s blessing and the protection of St. Benedict. No particular prayer is prescribed, as the devout wearing itself is a continual silent prayer.
The Medal of St. Benedict is one of the Sacramentals of the Church, and as such it must be used. The value and power of the Medal must be ascribed to the merits of Christ Crucified, to the efficacious prayers of St. Benedict, to the blessing of the Church, and especially to the faith and holy disposition of the person using the Medal.
The following is a partial list of the many pious purposes of the Medal of St. Benedict.
1. It wards off from both the soul and the body all dangers arising from the devil.
2. The Medal is powerful in obtaining for sinners the grace of conversion.
3. It obtains protection and aid for persons tormented by the evil spirit, and in temptations against holy purity.
4. It procures assistance in the hour of death.
5. It has often proved an efficacious remedy for bodily sufferings, and a means of protection against contagious diseases.
6. Expectant mothers have obtained special assistance for a safe delivery.
7. In time of storms, tempests and other dangers on land and sea it has been found to be a protection.
8. Even domestic animals have been visibly aided by it when infected with disease.