The Medal of Saint Benedict
by Fr. Bernardine Patterson OSB
The Jubilee or Centenary Medal was struck in 1880 to commemorate the fourteenth centenary of St. Benedict's birth (480-1880). The Jubilee Medal carries more indulgences than the Ordinary Medal and its type is fixed since the year 1880, while, as we have seen, the Ordinary Medal is struck in various manners. This artistic Medal was designed by an artist-monk of St. Martin's Archabbey, at Beuron in Hohenzollern, southern Germany. By a decree of August 31, 1877, Pope Pius IX approved the design of this new Medal and also added to it many indulgences over and above, those already granted for the use of the old one. We shall speak of indulgences later.
The Jubilee Medal represents St. Benedict holding a Cross in his right hand, and a book) the Holy Rule, in his left. On the right side of St. Benedict is the poisoned cup shattered by the sign of the Cross which the Saint made over it, on his left we have another scene from his life) a raven about to carry away a loaf of poisoned bread sent to the Holy Patriarch. Above the cup and the raven stands the Latin inscription: Crux S. Patris Benedicti. Round the edge of the same side are the words: Ejus in obitu nostro prasentia muniamur. Below we read: Ex S.M. Cassino, MDCCCLXXX.
Only that type of the Jubilee Medal struck by authority of the Archabbey of Monte Cassino has the privilege of the extra indulgences. Hence the imprint or date Ex S.M. Cassino MDCCCLXXX is necessary. Unless present, it would not be an authentic Jubilee medal but only one of the hundreds of species of the Ordinary Medal of St. Benedict
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