Cross of St Benedict
The medal of St.
Benedict is very old. Its popularity goes back especially to the
eleventh century, following a miraculous healing of a young man,
named Bruno, who became a monk and later became the holy Pope Léon
It was Pope Benedict
XIV who determined the design of this medal. On one side it has the
picture of St. Benedict holding a cross in his hand and on the other
side, there is a larger cross with several initials of Latin words.
Beside St. Benedict, a
chalice is often depicted, with a snake coming out, to call to mind
how this Saint escaped death by making the sign of the cross on a
goblet full of poison which had been given to him to drink. The
lethal poison could not withstand the sign of life, says St.
Gregory, and the crystal goblet broke as if a stone had been thrown
The initials on the
cross and around it, refer to this miracle :
: Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti / Cross of Holy Father Benedict
: Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux / May the Holy Cross be my light
: Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux / May the demon not be my chief
: Vado Retro Satana / Back Satan
: Non Suade Mihi Vana / Do not persuade me of bad things
: Sunt Mala Quae Libas / What you present is bad
: Ipse Venena Bibas / Drink your poisons yourself
All during his life,
St. Benedict had to fight with the devil. With his arms raised to
heaven, St. Benedict died standing up at the foot of an altar where
he had just received the Body and the Blood of Jesus, and thus he
united his death to Jesus' one at Calvary, the memory of which is
the Eucharist. This Saint is invoked as ‘patron of a good death’.
Appearing one day to St. Gertrude, he said to her : ‘Whoever will
remind me of the dignity which Our Lord deigned to honour me with,
by beatifying me with such a glorious death, I will assist him
faithfully at the hour of his death, and I will oppose all the
attacks which the devil could devise against him. Protected by my
presence, he will be safe despite the traps of the tempter, and will
joyfully precipitate to Eternal Happiness’. One of the inscriptions
of the medal of St. Benedict expresses this wish which is a prayer :
‘Ejus in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur’ / May we be protected by
his presence at the hour of our death !"
The medal of St.
Benedict must be blessed by a priest who has the power of doing so.
Ref 1002 - 9 €