The Medal of St. Benedict Explained

{ Find our selection of Saint Benedict medals, including on rosaries and crucifixes >> here }


St.-Benedict-mural-web_395x600During his life, St. Benedict of Nursia was known to work many miracles using the power of the Holy Cross. Among these included his heroic flight from temptations and miraculous escapes from traps set to kill him.

Saint Benedict became known for his power over the Devil, with the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ as his efficacious instrument to make the Devil flee.

The Medal of St. Benedict is based on this tradition.

St. Benedict was an incredibly important saint for the Church, most notably because he was the founder of Western monasticism. Because of his uncommon sanctity and miraculous powers, men gathered around him as disciples.

Benedict paved the way for these men to consecrate themselves to a secluded, disciplined, communal life of prayer, work, fasting, and penance dedicated solely to the worship of God. He organized them together under a single Rule to increase their spiritual effectiveness.

So, it is not hard to see why Saint Benedict was often a specific target of the Devil.

The St. Benedict medal as we commonly know it today (the Jubilee medal) was first made in 1880 to commemorate the fourteenth centenary anniversary of St. Benedict’s birth by the Archabbey of Monte Cassino, the most important monastery established by the Saint in the 6th century.

The meaning of the symbols used on the medal were at one time a mystery until an ancient manuscript was discovered, as described below:


According to the Catholic Encyclopedia,


“It is doubtful when the Medal of St. Benedict originated. During a trial for witchcraft at Natternberg near the Abbey of Metten in Bavaria [a Benedictine monastery established in the 8th century] in the year 1647, the accused women testified that they had no power over Metten, which was under the protection of the cross. Upon investigation, a number of painted crosses, surrounded by the letters which are now found on Benedictine medals, were found on the walls of the abbey, but their meaning had been forgotten.

Finally, in an old manuscript, written in 1415, was found a picture representing St. Benedict holding in one hand a staff which ends in a cross, and a scroll in the other. On the staff and scroll were written in full the words of which the mysterious letters were the initials. Medals bearing the image of St. Benedict, a cross, and these letters began now to be struck in Germany, and soon spread over Europe. They were first approved by Benedict XIV in his briefs of 23 December, 1741, and 12 March, 1742.”


This—combined with accounts of the Saint triumphing over traps the Devil set for him—is how the symbols on the St. Benedict medal became propagated as a form of protection against, and exorcism of, evil.





  • Above the chalice and the raven in the center, on either side of Saint Benedict:

Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti

(Cross of the Holy Father Benedict)


  • Words around the perimeter of the medal:

Ejus in obitu nro praesentia muniamur

(May we at our death be fortified by his presence)




  • Initials on the cross in the center:

C. S. S. M. L. – N. D. S. M. D.

Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux

(The Holy Cross be my light)

Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux

(Let not the dragon be my guide)


  • Circles by the four corners of the cross:


Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti 

(Cross of the Holy Father Benedict)


  • Initials around the perimeter:

V R S N S M V – S M Q L I V B

Vade Retro Satana, Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana—Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas

(Step back, Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities —evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison)


  • And at the top:







The St. Benedict medal is one of the most popular among Catholics, and there are many indulgences associated with this medal which you can read about here. There are also spiritual benefits associated with the pious use of the medal including warding off evil and temptation, obtaining the conversion of sinners, help for women during childbirth, strength in preserving purity, granting the grace of a happy death, protection during storms, and interceding for curing diseases.

Needless to say, this is a very powerful medal for spiritual protection. However, it is important to not be superstitious about Catholic medals; they are sacramentals to be used as “sacred signs instituted by the Church to prepare us to receive the fruit of the sacraments and to sanctify different circumstances of our lives” (CCC, 1677).


The Benedictine monks of Subiaco Abbey in Subiaco, Arkansas, explain the uses and importance of the medal:

“There is no special way prescribed for carrying or wearing the Medal of St. Benedict. It can be worn on a chain around the neck, kept in one’s pocket or purse, or placed in one’s car or home. The medal is often put into the foundations of houses and building, on the walls of barns and sheds, or in one’s place of business.

The purpose of the medal in any of the above ways is to call down God’s blessing and protection upon us, wherever we are, and upon our homes and possessions, especially through the intercession of St. Benedict. By the conscious and devout use of the medal, it becomes, as it were, a silent prayer and reminder to us of our dignity as followers of Christ.

The medal is a prayer of exorcism against Satan, a prayer for strength in time of temptation, a prayer for peace among ourselves and among the nations of the world, a prayer that the Cross of Christ be our light and guide, a prayer of firm rejection of all that is evil, a prayer of petition that we may with Christian courage “walk in God’s ways, with the Gospel as our guide,” as St. Benedict urges us.

The lessons found there can be pondered over to bring true peace of mind and heart into our lives as we struggle to overcome the weaknesses of our human nature and realize that our human condition is not perfect, but that with the help of God and the intercession of the saints our condition can become better.

The Medal of St. Benedict can serve as a constant reminder of the need for us to take up our cross daily and “follow the true King, Christ our Lord,” and thus learn “to share in his heavenly kingdom,” as St. Benedict urges us in the Prologue of his Rule.”


Read more about the St. Benedict Medal from the Benedictine monks of Subiaco Abbey in Subiaco, Arkansas >>here.




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  1. Marlys says

    Please cast Satan out of my grandsons life and save his soul. He has such anger and hatred in him. Bring his family peace and back to their Catholic Faith. St. Benedict Pray for them.

  2. Js says

    Please protect all Catholic priests and clergy against temptation and lust and please protect me from impure thoughts and deeds. St Benedict please bring back my father in law and mother in law in holy matrimony so they may die as a married couple and keep them away from lust and sin. I ask this through Christ our lord. Amen.

  3. Lizzie says

    Please cast Satan out of my sons life and save their souls. Bring to our family peace and immense faith in the power of God. Please cast out debts and financial inadequacy from our lives in Jesus Name i ask.

  4. says

    I yes want to thanks God and his son Jesus for saint Benedic powerful protetion i veliebe that only we needed is have faith,before i notice about saint Benedict in my house to many black crow come and follow me evere i work make loos all my by evil neiborht make a black magy vodoo againt me and my family. and put one cross of saint Benedict to top of my garage door and they flee,thanks to God and saint BENEDICT.

  5. Pauline Cyprian says

    Saint Benedict, intercede on my behalf concerning my health. I truly desire to be well again. I shall testify when this is done and will never depart from using this prayer until death. Lord hear my prayers and heal me. Amen

  6. L says

    Pray for my son to open up his heart to Jesus keep him from the deceptive woman and that country

  7. Tom Porthouse says

    A plea to to Saint and GOD-Father-So-Holy Spirit to keep safe, especially from the evil that is spreading like a mass infection around the world those children I have given the medal to in my parish [St. Joseph in Cottellville, MO around 50 0f them. The medals that I could afford are no longer being produced [3.98 ea] I was buying them from an abbey in Subiaco Ark…am searching for a source..the medals measured 1 1/4 and are coated so as not to fade in color..any tips out there..retired and on an extremely tight budget…I would like to purchase about 30 more.

  8. says

    Hi Tom, unfortunately we do not sell the St. Benedict Medal in bulk at this time, but we will consider adding that option in the future. Thank you for the suggestion!

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