The Medal of St Benedict and why it makes the Devil flee is an interesting story dating back to the 5th century.
The Saint Benedict Medal is a Christian sacramental medal containing symbols and text related to the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia, used by Roman Catholics, as well as Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and the Western Orthodox, in the Benedictine Christian tradition. The medal is one of the oldest and most honoured medals used by Christians and due to the belief in its power against evil is also known as the “devil-chasing medal”.
The Medal of St. Benedict is well known for its ability to protect against demonic influences, diabolical and haunting influences as well as protecting you from temptation, delusion or being tormented by evil spirits.
Interesting to note is when coupled with a crucifix it can assist in deliverance and is nicknamed “the Cross of the Happy Death”
It has also been said to help in the timely and healthy birth of children, as tradition also claims it is a great means of protection against contagious diseases.
The medal came into widespread use after its formal approval by Pope Benedict XIV in the 18th century, the medal is used to ward off spiritual and physical dangers, especially those related to evil, poison, and temptation.
Let’s take a closer look at who St Benedict is and how this medal came to be so trusted.
Who is St Benedict
St. Benedict of Nursia, Italy (A.D. 480-543) is known as The Patron Saint of Exorcism or Protection from Evil. St Benedict is credited with being the founding father of Modern Western Monastic Rule and in his lifetime he founded twelve monasteries including the famous Monte Cassino Abbey, Italy. St Benedict then went on to create the Rule of St Benedict, a rather strict way of living. Those who lived and studied under this Rule were known as the Western Church’s first monks.
St Benedict had a reputation for going into battle with the Devil and winning but two stories are most relevant as they feature on the medal of St Benedict. The first occurred while serving as an Abbott in a monastery, a conspiracy formed against Benedict. Planning to rid themselves of the man of God, the monks poisoned his wine. When the wine was offered to Benedict, he made the sign of the cross and blessed the wine. Immediately, the glass burst.
This event was recounted by Pope Gregory the Great in his biography of Benedict where he stated, “…the glass had in it the drink of death, which could not endure the sign of life.”
At another monastery, a priest became envious of Benedict’s virtues, and sent a poisoned loaf of bread to Benedict. Knowing the bread was poisoned, Benedict gave the entire loaf to a raven that would appear for crumbs each evening. He commanded the raven, in the name of Jesus Christ, to take the loaf and leave it in a place where no man could find it. After several attempts and entreaties from Benedict, and much difficulty, the raven flew off with the bread and returned without it hours later, looking for his usual allowance of crumbs as reward.
Many other miracles and examples of defeating the Devil were credited to him in his lifetime and as such he is especially known for his intercession against evil, including poison, temptations, and witchcraft and is also known as the patron of monks, students, farmers, and all of Europe.
How the medal came to be
Pope Benedict XIV solemnly approved and recommended the use of the medal to the faithful in 1742.
According to Ziegler.com the medal we recognize today is known as the Jubilee medal and was struck in 1880 under the supervision of the monks of Monte Cassino to mark the 1400th anniversary of Saint Benedict’s birth. The Jubilee medal includes all of the features associated or included on previous medals.
The Symbology of the St Benedict Medal
Engraved on the medal is a powerful prayer that can be said on a regular basis. It is quite simple and easy to memorize:
The Holy Cross be my light;
Let not the dragon be my guide.
However, there is much more hidden on this medal, here is what all the symbology and letters mean.
On the Front
We see St. Benedict holding his Rule (the St Benedict Rule); next to him, on a pedestal, is the cup he shattered after he made the Sign of the Cross over it due to the poison. The other pedestal is topped by the raven, ready to carry away the poisoned bread. Above these pedestals are the words:
Crux s. patris Benedicti (The Cross of our Holy Father Benedict).
Underneath St. Benedict are the words:
ex SM Casino MDCCCLXXX (from holy Monte Cassino, 1880).
Surrounding the entire face of the medal are the words:
Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur (May we at our death be fortified by his presence.)
This is a reference to him also being the bringer of Happy Death.
THE BACK OF THE MEDAL
In the arms of the Cross are the initials C S S M L – N D S M D, which stand for: (the prayer from above)
Crux sacra sit mihi lux!
Nunquam draco sit mihi dux!
The Holy Cross be my light;
Let not the dragon be my guide.
In the corners of the Cross are C S P D, which stand for the same words found on the front over the pedestals and above the Cross is the word “Pax” (Peace), the Benedictine motto.
Surrounding the entire back of the medal are the initials to the words of the exorcism: V R S N S M V – S M Q L I V B, which stand for:
Vade retro Satana!
Nunquam suade mihi vana!
Sunt mala quae libas.
Ipse venena bibas!
Do not suggest to me thy vanities!
Evil are the things thou profferest,
Drink thou thy own poison!
How do we use St benedict Medals
The medal is highly regarded by practitioners of deliverance and the church and is often given to those who are spiritually afflicted or harassed. Even though the medal is referenced to a lot in relation to exorcism we can all harness the protection of a blessed St Benedict medal. Here are a few examples:
Kept in your purse or wallet
Wear it on a necklace or bracelet
Attach it to a rosary
Your keychain or phone
Fixed to ones home or car – medals are also placed into foundations of buildings
Create a shield around your home: place a medal in each corner of the property – see our store for more
According to Dom Gueranger, the medal is considered effective in:
asking for inner peace/spiritual healing;
asking peace between individuals or between nations of the world;
curing bodily afflictions especially as protection against contagious diseases;
destroying the effects of witchcraft and all other diabolical and haunting influences;
healing those who are suffering from wounds or illness;
obtaining the conversion of sinners, especially when they are in danger of death;
offering protection against storms and lightning;
protecting children from nightmares;
protecting a mother and her children during childbirth;
protecting animals infected with plague or other maladies;
protecting fields infested by harmful insects;
protecting or otherwise counter the effects of poison;
protecting those persons who are tempted, deluded or tormented by evil spirits.
When we pray to St Benedict and combine this with a blessed medal it is believed we can fight off attacks from the Devil and avoid falling for his temptations. St Benedict’s works in life bestowed upon his name blessings of grace and favour from the Lord Jesus Christ. It is well known battling the Devil requires a driving out of the darkness through religious/spiritual ritual and prayer. If you are from a Christian background it is the faith in Jesus, which we are reminded of when praying or holding the medal that makes the Devil flee. St Benedict is an intercessor, as mentioned above, for us in this process.
Whether you are looking for an everyday piece of jewellery or are gifted in fighting the darkness having a St Benedict medal is a good way to protect yourself and your home. Visit our store for our range of St Benedict products
Further reading and resources