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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

St. Benedict


Feastday: March 21

St. Benedict, the father of west monasticism and patron of Europe, was born in Norcia in 480. We owe him the foundation of a new European civilisation no longer influenced by classical myth but based on Christian truth. In order to found the monastery in Montecassino, he pulled down the pagan temple dedicated to Apollo and destroyed the idol symbolising that god. He died on Holy Thursday in 547, at the age of 67.  

The St. Benedict's Medal

St.Benedict's Medal-Cross originates from the episodes of his life in which he fought against the demon as well as against evil influences that he, as first exorcist in history, used to drive out in the name of the cross. For this reason on each of St. Benedict's medal-crosses there is the motto PAX. The origin of St. Benedict's Medal-Cross goes back in very ancient times. The episode happened to Pope St. Leon IX when he was still a boy and his name was Brunone is well-known. He was sleeping when a poisonous toad attacked him and bit him leading him at death's door. A few months later, the young dying boy had a vision. A venerable old man was descending a bright staircase and leaning on a stick on which Christ's Cross was engraved. With that very stick the man touched the boy and miraculously healed him on the instant. As he got near, Brunone recognised the venerable old man was St. Benedict. St. Benedict's cross circulated in 1600 in Bavaria and from here in the whole Christendom. Pope XIV approved the devotion of St. Benedict's Medal-Cross in 1742.

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