Saturday, October 22, 2011

Medal of St. Benedict explained

From time to time we get questions about the Medal of St. Benedict. At some point in the future we may make these medals available to parishioners. Meanwhile, they can easily be obtained via the internet. Often the Medal of St. Benedict is combined with a crucifix. The medal is especially known for keeping evil at bay.

Here is what the many Latin words and abbreviations on the medal mean:

St. Benedict holds a cross in his right hand and his Rule in his left. At his right side is a cup with a serpent (or snake) escaping; at his left side is a crow taking away a piece of poisoned bread.  Both of these recall miraculous events in Benedict's life when attempts on his life were thwarted.

Near the saint are the words CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI.  That means "The Cross of Holy Father Benedict."

Around the medal are the words "EIUS IN OBITU NOSTRO PRAESENTIA.  That means "He defends us in our death with his presence."

PAX means peace.

C S P B stand for Crux Sancti Patri Benedicti - "Cross of the Holy Father Benedict"

Down the vertical part of the Cross - C S S M L which stand for Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux - "May the holy Cross be my light."

Across the horizontal part of the Cross - N D S M D which stand for Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux - " the devil will not be my leader."

S M Q L stands for Sunt Mala Quae Libas - "these things presented to me are evil."

I V B stands for Ipse Venea Bibas - "drink the poison yourself!"

V R S stands for Vade Retro Satana - "get behind me Satan."

N S M V stands for Non Suade Mihi Vana - "You can't persuade me to do evil."

source: CC Italy pamplet, 2011.