Meaning of the Benedictine Medal

Benedictine medal

By God’s grace, I am what I am.
  Rule of Benedict

The front of the Jubilee Medal of Saint Benedict is stamped with a cross on which is superimposed the letters CSSML on the upright beam and NDSMD in the cross beam.

The letters stand for the Latin words Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux: Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux which means "May the Holy Cross be My Light: Let Not the Devil be My Guide."

The Letters CSPB in the 4 angles around the cross stand for Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti , the Latin for "Cross of the Holy Father Benedict."

Around the outer edge of the of the medal are the letters V.R.S.N.S.M.V.-- S.M.Q.L.I.V.B, which stand for the Latin Vade Retro Satana (Begone Satan) Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana (Never Suggest Vain Things to Me), Sunt Mala Quae Libas (What You Offer Me is Evil) Ipse Venena Bibas (Drink your own Poison).

At the top of the medal is stamped the Benedictine motto, "PAX" meaning "PEACE."

On the back of the medal is the figure of Benedict holding a cross and the Holy Rule. On his right is the poisoned cup (snake inside) which broke when he made the sign of the cross over it. On his left is the pet raven carrying away the loaf of poisoned bread. Inscribed above the cup and raven are the words Crux S. Patris Benedicti - meaning "Cross of Holy Father Benedict."

The outer edge of the medal bears the inscription: Eius In Orbitu Nostro Preasentia Muniamur: "May We Be Strengthened By His Presence At Our Death."

Below the feet of Benedict are the date and place of the first casting of the medal: EX S M CASSINO MDCCCLXXX - "Archabbey of Monte Cassino 1880."

Benedictine Sisters of Rock Island logo

The Sisters of St. Benedict Logo

The logo of St. Mary Monastery is a circular blue and green cross with a stream of water flowing through it.

The circular cross shows that our lives are encircled by and centered in the Benedictine tradition of seeking God through prayer, work, hospitality, reverence, moderation, and stewardship.

The water flowing through the cross symbolizes Baptism by which we are filled with the life of Christ.

The blue at the bottom of the cross signifies our baptismal commitment as the foundation of our lives in this Benedictine community. The green suggests the new life which emerges as we live in fidelity to our monastic profession.

The water flows outside of the cross signifying our Christian life, steeped in the Benedictine tradition and extending beyond the monastery to those whose lives we touch.

This out-flowing water also symbolizes our Benedictine monastery as a place where "Guests are to be welcomed as Christ" (RB 53.1) so that they may be refreshed and renewed by life-giving waters.