St. Peter informs us in 1 Peter 5:8, to be sober and watchful because, our adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for who devour. The devil is trickish, and he wants to destroy mankind through any means possible. That’s why it is so necessary to fight back with the spiritual weapons of chastity, prayer, and faith.
One powerful weapon in spiritual combat is the medal of St. Benedict. This medal has been honored and employed for centuries, and it has been associated with many miracles, as well as used in exorcism.
The Medal’s Origins
The exact origins of the St. Benedict medal are uncertain, but as we know, the cross was a favorite symbol and badge of faith in Christ for the early Christians. From the writings of St. Gregory the Great, we also know that St. Benedict was one of the Christians who had deep faith in the cross a performed lots of miracles with the sign of the Cross. This faith was then passed on to succeeding generations of Benedictines.
The special devotion to the cross of Christ also gave rise to the striking medal of St. Benedict holding a cross in his right hand and his Rule for Monasteries in the other. Therefore, the Cross has always been associated with the medal of St. Benedict, and this is also called the Medal Cross of St. Benedict.
Although it is said that the first medal was worn by the 11th century Pope, Leo IX, who attributed his miraculous recovery from a snake bite to it. St. Benedict medals of various types have been in use ever since, but the medal in its current form, known as the Jubilee medal, was not struck until 1880 when it was created to honor the 1,400th anniversary of St. Benedict’s birth.
Meaning Of The Medal Of St. Benedict
This medal is rich in meaning. The front contains an image of St. Benedict holding a cross and his famous monastic rule. On his left and right are words meaning, “The cross of our holy father, St. Benedict.” On the outer edge are the words in Latin, “May we at our death be fortified by his presence.”
Take a look at the back of the medal, it is even more interesting. It contains a series of initials that stand for a Latin exorcism prayer, as well as a prayer for guidance.
inscribed on the prominently placed cross are the letters C S S M L – N D S M D, which stand for the Latin prayer:
Crux sacra sit mihi lux!
Nunquam draco sit mihi dux!
Translating it, it means:
The Holy Cross be my light;
Let not the dragon be my guide.
Surrounding the outer rim of the back are the letters V R S N S M V – S M Q L I V B. These letters stand for an exorcism prayer based on an incident from St. Benedict’s life.
After St. Benedict had been a hermit for three years, and his reputation for holiness had spread far and wide, he was asked by a group of monks to be their abbot. St. Benedict agreed, but some rebellious monks in the community seriously disliked this idea, and they decided to kill St. Benedict by poisoning his bread and wine. As St. Benedict made the sign of the cross over his food, as was his custom, he immediately knew that they had been poisoned. He threw the wine on the ground, saying:
Vade retro Satana!
Nunquam suade mihi vana!
Sunt mala quae libas.
Ipse venena bibas!
Do not suggest to me thy vanities!
Evil are the things thou offerest,
Drink thou thy own poison!
And it is this prayer that is represented by the initials surrounding the back of the medal.
St. Benedict medals are used in many ways, but always as a protection against evil. Some people bury them in the foundations of new buildings to keep them free from evil influences, while others attach them to rosaries or hang them on the wall in their homes. But the most common way to use the St. Benedict medal is to wear it. The medal can be worn by itself or embedded in a crucifix.
Regardless of how it is used, always bless the medal before use. In former times, only Benedictines could bless the medal, now any ordained Priest can.
If you don’t have a St. Benedict medal, you can get them anywhere Catholic goods are sold. Also, the awesome combat rosaries, created by Fr. Richard Heilman to be the ultimate spiritual weapon comes with a St. Benedict medal attached.
If you don’t own a St. Benedict medal, I highly recommend you get one. It is like the bulletproof vest of sacramentals!