THE POWER AND EFFECTS OF THE ST BENEDICT MEDAL
Abbot Guaranger’s little book “Sur la Medaille ou Croix de S. Benoit” explains how the St-Benedict token is useful:
“We should make use of the Medal on all occasions when we have reason to fear the snares of the enemy. Its protection will prove efficacious in every kind of temptation. Numerous and undeniable facts attest its wonderful efficacy on a thousand different occasions where the faithful were exposed to dangers either from the direct influence of the devil, or from the effects of certain evil practices. We may also employ it in favor of others to preserve or deliver them from dangers which we foresee are threatening them. Unforeseen accidents await us on land and sea; let us carry about us the Medal of St. Benedict with faith and we shall experience his protection. Even in the most common circumstances of life, in those things which regard our temporal well-being has the efficacy of the holy Cross and the power of St. Benedict been felt. The wicked spirits, in their hatred, often molest the domestic animals or do harm to the food which should sustain life. Experience has proved that the Medal of St. Benedict, made use of with faith and prayer, has often made the snares of the devil harmless, procured a visible improvement in cases of sickness, and sometimes even effected a complete cure”.
The St-Benedict Token, therefore, a powerful means:
- To destroy witchcraft and all other diabolical influences.
- To keep away the spells of magicians, of wicked and evil-minded persons.
- To impart protection to persons tempted, deluded or tormented by evil spirits.
- To obtain the conversion of sinners, especially when they are in danger of death.
- To serve as an armor in temptations against holy purity.
- To destroy the effects of poison.
- To secure a timely and healthy birth for children.
- To afford protection against storms and lightning.
- To serve as an efficacious remedy for bodily afflictions and a means of protection against contagious diseases.
- Finally, the medal of St-Benedict has often been used with admirable effect even for animals infected with plague or other maladies, and for fields when invaded by harmful insects.
The Meaning of St Benedict Cross-Medal Inscriptions
On one side, the Medal has a cross, the sign of our redemption, the protecting shield given us by God to ward off the fiery arrows of the evil spirit. At the top of the cross usually stands the word PAX (peace) or the monogram I H S (Jesus).
In the angles of the cross are found these four letters: C.S.P.B. They stand for the words: Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti – ” The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict.”
On the vertical bar of the cross itself are found the letters: C.S.S.M.L., and on the horizontal bar of the cross: N.D.S.M.D.
|Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux,|
Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux
|May the holy Cross be my light,|
Let not the dragon be my guide.
Round the margin of the Medal, beginning at the right hand on top, we have the following letters: V.R.S.N.S.M.V.–S.M.Q.L.I.V.B.
They stand for the verses:
|Vade Retro, Satana!|
Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana.
Sunt Mala Quae Libas
Ipse Venena Bibas.
Suggest not vain things to me.
Evil is the cup thou offerest;
Drink thou thine own poison.
The reverse of the Medal bears the image of St. Benedict holding in his right hand the Cross, in the power of which he wrought so many miracles, and in his left hand bearing the holy Rule, which leads all its followers by the way of the Cross to eternal light.
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 a loaf of poisoned bread that a jealous enemy had sent to St. Benedict. Above the cup and the raven are the Latin words: Crux S-Patris Benedicti. [The initials C.S.P.B. are found on the reverse side – see above.]
Round the margin is the inscription: Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur – “May his presence protect us in the hour of our death.”
Below St. Benedict we read: ex SM Casino MDCCCLXXX (from holy Monte Cassino, 1880).