St Benedict of Nursia
Feast day 11 July
Patron against poison and witchcraft and for agricultural workers, cavers, civil engineers, coppersmiths, dying people, Europe, farmers, fever, inflammatory diseases, Italian architects, kidney disease, monks, nettle rash, people in religious orders, schoolchildren and students, servants who have broken their master’s belongings and temptations.
Though St. Benedict was born in 480 A.D., he is certainly a Saint for our times. He was a man of strength, conviction, and courage. Although he desired to live a life of solitude by choosing the life of a hermit and living in a cave, when word of his holiness and devout life reached the nearby monks, they persuaded him to oversee to become their abbot. Once there, the monks did not like St. Benedict’s strict rule of life and he faced many adversaries (including surviving an attempt to poison him!).
St. Benedict stayed strong in spite of his trials. He gathered his strength from the Lord. He lived in a world that seemed to be crumbling around him, yet St. Benedict stood against the culture of his time with love and faithfulness to the Gospel. He inspired many people to convert to Christianity because of his devotion. We can look to him as our example of how to reach those who sometimes seem far away from God.
St. Benedict established several monasteries, communities for monks to devote their lives to Christ. He wrote, “The Rule” which describes how monks should live. These rules are still used today. How many of these rules have you heard before?
Do not speak evil words.
Listen with your heart.
Be obedient to the Lord.
Ask God to make your good work perfect.
Show good deeds rather than words.
Pray together, so you may show your peace.
Delight God with work and prayer.
The Saint Benedict Medal is a Christian sacramental medal containing symbols and text related to the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia, used by Christians in the Benedictine tradition.
According to the Order of St. Benedict, “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.”
Can you design your own medal? You could recreate the medal of St Benedict or come up with your own ideas. What would you put on your medal? How might you use signs and symbols and what might they mean?
God our Father, you made St Benedict as an outstanding guide to teach men how to live in your service. Grant that by preferring your love to everything else, we may walk in the way of your commandments.
Through Christ our Lord.