The Order of Saint Benedict

The Medal of Saint Benedict

[obverse] The Cross of Salvation

On the face of the medal is the image of Saint Benedict. In his right hand he holds the cross, the Christian's symbol of salvation.

Rule and Raven

In Benedict's left hand is his Rule for monastics. On a pedestal to the right of 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 Benedict.

C. S. P. B.

Above the cup and the raven are the latin words: Crux s. patris Benedicti (The Cross of our holy father Benedict). On the margin of the medal, encircling the figure of Benedict, are the latin words: Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur! (May we be strengthened by his presence in the hour of our death!)

Monte Cassino

Below Benedict we read: ex SM Casino MDCCCLXXX (from holy Monte Cassino, 1880). This medal was struck to commemorate the 1400th anniversary of the birth of Saint Benedict.

Crux mihi lux

[reverse] On the back of the medal, the cross is dominant. On the arms of the cross are the initial letters of a rhythmic latin prayer: Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux! (May the holy cross be my light! May the dragon never be my guide!).


Above the cross is the word pax (peace), which has been a Benedictine motto for centuries. Around the margin of the back of the medal, the letters V R S N S M V - S M Q L I V B are the initial letters of a latin prayer of exorcism against Satan: Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. Ipse venena bibas! (Begone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poison yourself!)

[.JPG versions of the front and back of the Medal of Saint Benedict.]

Blessing of the Medal of Saint Benedict

Medals of Saint Benedict may be blessed by any priest -- not necessarily a Benedictine (Instr. 26 Sept. 1964). The following English form may be used.

Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Who made heaven and earth.

In the name of God the Father + almighty, who made heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them, I exorcise these medals against the power and attacks of the evil one. May all who use these medals devoutly be blessed with health of soul and body. In the name of the Father + almighty, of the Son + Jesus Christ our Lord, and of the Holy + Spirit the Paraclete, and in the love of the same Lord Jesus Christ who will come on the last day to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.

Let us pray. Almighty God, the boundless source of all good things, we humbly ask that, through the intercession of Saint Benedict, you pour out your blessings + upon these medals. May those who use them devoutly and earnestly strive to perform good works be blessed by you with health of soul and body, the grace of a holy life, and remission of the temporal punishment due to sin. May they also with the help of your merciful love, resist the temptation of the evil one and strive to exercise true charity and justice toward all, so that one day they may appear sinless and holy in your sight. This we ask though Christ our Lord.

The medals are then sprinkled with holy water.

Permissu superiorum

Nihil obstat and Imprimatur, Saint Cloud, 24 April 1980.

Authentic, Beuronese-style, Benedictine medals (Monte Cassino, 1880) have been available since 1926 in a wide variety of sizes and materials from The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN 56321.

Blessing of Saint Maurus over the Sick with the Medal of Saint Benedict