Some of the most distinctive images for Benedictines are those found on many Benedictine medals. On one side is St. Benedict holding a cross and his Rule, while the other side has the Cross of St. Benedict. History does not reveal when the first medal of St. Benedict was struck, but at some point a series of capital letters were placed around the large figure of the cross on the medal. For a long time the meaning of these letters was unknown, but in 1647 a manuscript dating back to 1415 was found at the Abbey of Metten in Bavaria, giving an explanation of the letters. They are the initial letters of an ancient Latin prayer of exorcism against Satan. In the centuries that followed you would see this single image of the "Benedictine" cross and letters engraved on stone or wood and found in monasteries, homes, and even castles. For most of the faithful, this image was used with a prayer to ward off all evil or harm and seek God's protection especially at the time of death. In 1800 a new Jubilee "Benedictine Medal" was struck by the monks of Montecassino that would incorporate these two images onto a single medal that many today wear around their necks.
Br. Jude has now crafted in wood the original Benedictine Cross with its prayer to ward off Satan and evil and wish peace upon all. On the front facing side you will find the iconic image of the cross and the surrounding letters. 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!). In the angles of the cross, the letters C S P B stand for Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti (The cross of our holy father Benedict). Above the cross is the word PAX (peace), that has been a Benedictine motto for centuries and echoes the word used so often in the Bible especially by Jesus. Around the margin you will see the letters V R S N S M V – S M Q L I V B as the initial letters, as mentioned above, 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!). Brother Jude has crafted on the reverse side these original Latin prayers along with the English translation.
This is a lovely item that can be displayed in any home and is a wonderful gift especially for new homeowners as it reflects the passage from Luke 10 about the importance of wishing peace to all who enter a home. The wood engraving is 9 inches in diameter, 3/4 inches thick, and weighs 13.4 ounces. The types of wood used will vary based upon supply. In addition, if you are ordering this as a gift, we can create a nice card with wording that you may choose. When you place the order, simply fill-in the text area with the words you would like included on the card.
The on-line price is inclusive of all tax, shipping and handling within the contiguous United States. All international orders, and orders for Alaska, Hawaii, and the Territories of the United States, must be placed directly with our Abbey staff at 479-934-1001 or [email protected]