This coming Monday July 11th is the Feast of St. Benedict in the Modern Roman Calendar (it’s 21st of March on the Traditional Calendar). Since Fridays here are dedicated to the sacrifice of Christ and his Cross, in anticipation of Mondays feast I will discuss what is known as the “Cross of St. Benedict”.
The St. Benedict metal has become a popular sacramental among Catholics. On this metal is stamped the ‘Cross of St. Benedict’. This ‘Cross’ is not historically connected with St. Benedict in a direct way and it’s origin is somewhat mysterious. I’m not going to go into all that, you can read more here if you are interested. What I am going to do is explain the powerful prayer inscribed on the cross.
At the top, IHS is the monogram of Jesus Christ from Greek. (More commonly one finds PAX which is Latin for Peace.)
Between the arms of the cross C.S.P.B. – Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti – Cross of our Holy Father Benedict
Around the outside 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. – Begone, Satan, Suggest not to me thy vanities. Evil are the things thou offer, Drink thou thy own poison!
On the upright of the cross C.S.S.M.L. – Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux – May the Holy Cross be to me Light.
On the crossbar N.D.S.M.D. – Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux – Let not the dragon be to me a guide.
There is a special blessing for metals of St. Benedict. Since 1960 any priest may use it, he need not be a Benedictine. Benedict Metals Blessing . If you purchase metals from Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery they will bless them before shipping if you ask them to (you can leave a message on the order form if ordering online).