What Is the Meaning of the Saint Benedict Medal?
The Saint Benedict medal has is used as a means of fostering and expressing Catholic religious devotion. The medal reminds us of God and our ready willingness and desire to serve God and our neighbor. Whoever wears this Medal with devotion, trusting in the life-giving power, may expect the powerful spiritual and temporal protection of Saint Benedict.
FRONT of Saint Benedict Medal
On the face of the medal is the image of St. Benedict. In his right hand he holds the cross, the Christian symbol of salvation. In St. Benedict’s left hand is his rule for monasteries that could well be summed up in the words of the prologue exhorting us to “set out on this [God’s] way, with the Gospel for our guide.” 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 the loaf of poisoned bread that a jealous enemy sent to St. Benedict.
Flanking him on each side are the words:
Crux S. Patris Benedicti
(The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict)
Below his feet are these words:
Ex S M Casino MDCCCLXXX
(From the Holy Mount of Cassino, 1880)
On that date, Monte Cassino was given the exclusive right to produce this medal. This is the medal struck to commemorate the 1400th anniversary of the birth of St. Benedict
Inscribed in the circle surrounding Benedict are the words:
Ejus in obitu nostro presentia muniamur
(May his presence protect us in the hour of death)
Benedictines have always regarded St. Benedict as a special patron of a happy death. He himself died in the chapel at Montecassino while standing with his arms raised up to heaven, supported by the brothers of the monastery, shortly after he had received Holy Communion.
BACK of the Saint Benedict Medal (The Benedict Cross)
The four large letters at the angles of the Cross: C S P B stand for:
Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti - The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict
The vertical beam of the Cross has five letters: C.S.S.M.L., meaning:
Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux - May the holy Cross be for me a light
The horizontal beam of the Cross also has five letters: N.D.S.M.D., meaning:
Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux - Let not the dragon be my guide
Encircling the Cross in a circle around the right margin are these letters: V.R.S.N.S.M.V., meaning:
Vade retro Satana; nunquam suade mihi vana - Begone Satan! Suggest not to me thy vain things
Around the left margin of the circle are these letters: S.M.Q.L.I.V.B., meaning:
Sunt mala quae libas; ipse venena bibas - The drink you offer is evil; drink that poison yourself
At the top of the circle is the word:
PAX - Which of course means Peace!