The inspiring life of St Benedict, father of the Western monastic rule

The inspiring life of St Benedict, father of the Western monastic rule

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The life of Saint Benedict

The life of Saint Benedict can be summed up in one word: "blessed". Just like the meaning of his first name Benedict, meaning "who is blessed".

Born in Nursia in 480, Saint Benedict first studied in Rome. Unfortunately, dismayed by the foolishness of young people his age who preferred to have fun rather than study, Saint Benedict left to join a small town. There, he met a monk who took care of his education. This monk also teaches him to love prayers and to talk to God.

Later, St. Benedict performed a miracle. Saint Benedict manages to repair a broken object by praying. The next day, this object was repaired. The inhabitants did not make the connection with God and asked him to perform various miracles. Saint Benedict ends up leaving to isolate himself for 3 years in the mountains where he meets another monk.

While Saint Benedict replaces the abbot of a church after these three years of solitary life in the mountains, some monks, jealous of him, try to poison him. But luck being on his side, the jug containing the poison breaks when Saint Benedict reaches out his hand to bless it. Following this episode, in which Saint Benedict forgives the sins of the other monks far from God, Saint Benedict leaves again but with a few disciples who will be faithful to him this time.

Saint Benedict goes to Mount Cassin. Saint Benedict and his disciples renovate the ruined building on Mount Cassin. Shortly after Saint Benedict and his disciples settle down, Saint Benedict establishes strict rules. These rules are called: "the rules of the monks" or "the rules of Saint Benedict". This rule of Saint Benedict contains 73 chapters and even today it still guides the monks in their timetable, their daily life and serves as an example. Here are some of the rules that the book contains:

  • 7 prayers a day
  • Reading, study and copying of sacred texts.
  • Each monk participates in daily life and has a profession of his own,
  • Between the monks and the different hierarchies within the monastery must reign: obedience and humility, everyone must love each other in the same way.
  • Care of the sick and visitors must be as well received as if it were Christ himself visiting.
  • Helping the most needy.

The Cross of St. Benedict, its meaning and virtues

The medal of Saint Benedict and the Cross of Saint Benedict are not to be confused. If the Cross of Saint Benedict is recognized very quickly by the church as a sacramental allowing liberation and exorcism. The Medal of Saint Benedict was only approved much later by Pope Benedict XIV in 1742. In addition, the medal, which was once oval, is now round.

The cross of St. Benedict is to be used against demons. This cross of Saint Benedict was used as a talisman and was used in the right hand when reciting the formula: "Vade retro satana". It is obvious that the cross of Saint Benedict works only thanks to your faith and trust in God. And having the cross of Saint Benedict blessed or wearing it as an amulet is not enough to protect you.

But by carrying the cross of St. Benedict with faith and trust in God, you will receive blessings and protection against: diseases, poisons, various and varied temptations, dangers and demons. On St. Benedict's crosses and medals, you will always be able to see St. Benedict on one side with a big beard to meaning he is the "guide" of the monks, a kind of patriarch and in his hand a book representing the rules he wrote.

The inscriptions on the cross

To the right and left of the cross, in the outer corners you can read the letters :

C S P B:

"Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti."

Cross of the Holy Father Benedict.

On the horizontal line of the cross you will see the letters :

N D S M D:

"Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux":

The dragon must not be my guide.

From top to bottom on the vertical line of the cross:

C S S M L:

"Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux."

The Cross must be my light.

All around the circle of the cross of Saint Benedict is an inscription composed of letters. In the center of the circle at the top, you can read the word "PAX", a term used in ancient Rome that can be translated as "Peace". "PAX" is none other than the motto of the Benedictine order, it replaces "IHS" which was once the name of Jesus.

Starting from the right side of "PAX" you will distinguish the letters :


"Vade Retro Satana, Numquam Suade Mihi Vana"

"Away with Satan, never tempt me with vanity."

It is followed by the letters:


"Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venenum Bibas."

"What you offer is only evil, swallow your poison."

St. Benedict's articles not to be missed.

Find on our religious shop in Lourdes various religious articles related to Saint Benedict. Use during your prayers wooden rosaries of Saint Benedict in metal with its superb box representing Saint Benedict on its lid or a luminous silicone rosary. Hang on your wall or put on a shelf a magnificent crucifix of Saint Benedict. You can find different materials for your crucifix of Saint benoît like wood, silver plated metal or olive wood.

As other religious articles on our religious shop, you will see dozens of bracelets. You can also find them in different forms: as necklace or even as keychain.

In our online religious shop you can also see silver or gold-plated medals of Saint Benedict. And last but not least, a religious gift we would recommend is the religious incense of Saint Benedict... This religious incense will be perfect for you and it can accompany you in your daily prayers.

Prayer for Saint Benedict

Saint Benedict, we come to you to thank you for your faith and dedication to Jesus Christ.

We thank you for your founding role in the monastic community of the Order of St Benedict, which contributed to the spread of the Christian faith in Europe.

We ask you to help us to follow your example in living a life of prayer, reflection and service to God and others.

We ask you to help us to live our lives with firm faith, constant hope and sincere charity.

We ask you to protect us from all evil and to guide us on our life journey.

We thank you for all the blessings you have given us through your life and we entrust our life and soul to you.


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