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While we can't travel, we can travel through time. This gold medal is made in the French tradition of gold vermeil, a very thick plating of 18K gold designed and crafted to last for years of wear and prayer and wear like gold. The exact time and date of the making of the first Saint Benedict Medal are not clear. The medal was originally a cross, dedicated to the devotion in honor of St. Benedict. At some point medals were struck that bore the image of St. Benedict holding a cross aloft in his right hand and his Rule for Monasteries in the other hand. Then a sequence of capital letters was placed around the large figure of the cross on the reverse side of the medal. The meaning of what the letters signified was lost over time until around 1647 an old manuscript was discovered at the Benedictine St. Michael's Abbey in Metten. In the manuscript, written in 1415, was a picture depicting 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, a Latin prayer for strength and faith against Satan. The manuscript contains the exorcism formula Vade retro satana ("Step back, Satan"), and the letters were found to correspond to this phrase.
On the arms of the cross of Saint Benedict 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). Saint Benedict of Nursia was a founder of Christian monastic communities and a rule giver for monks living in community. His purpose may be gleaned from his Rule, namely that "Christ may bring us all together to life eternal." He is patron saint of many things, especially warding off negative spirits.
This item is non-vintage.
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