DESCRIPTION OF THE MEDAL
We distinguish two types of the Medal of St. Benedict: the ordinary medal, and that of Monte Cassino, which is known as the Jubilee [or Centenary] Medal. We describe here only the Jubilee Medal.
The Jubilee Medal was struck in 1880 under the supervision of the monks of Monte Cassino, Italy, to mark the 1400th anniversary of the birth of St. Benedict. Monte Cassino was given the exclusive right to strike this medal, and special Jubilee indulgences were added. The design of the Jubilee Medal was produced at St. Martin's Archabbey, Beuron, Germany, at the request of the prior of Montecassino, Very Rev. Boniface Krug OSB (1838-1909). Prior Boniface was a native of Baltimore and originally a monk of St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, until he was chosen to become prior and latter archabbot of Monte Cassino.
On one side, the Medal has a cross, the sign of our redemption, the protecting shield given us by God to ward off the fiery arrows of the evil spirit. At the top of the cross usually stands the word PAX (peace) or the monogram I H S (Jesus).
In the angles of the cross are found these four letters: C.S.P.B. They stand for the words: Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti – " The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict."
On the vertical bar of the cross itself are found the letters: C.S.S.M.L., and on the horizontal bar of the cross: N.D.S.M.D. They signify:
Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux,
May the holy Cross be my light,
Let not the dragon be my guide.
Round the margin of the Medal, beginning at the right hand on top, we have the following letters: V.R.S.N.S.M.V.--S.M.Q.L.I.V.B., They stand for the verses:
Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana.
Sunt Mala Quae Libas
Ipse Venena Bibas.
The English words are:
Suggest not vain things to me.
Evil is the cup thou offerest;
Drink thou thine own poison.
The reverse of the Medal bears the image of St. Benedict holding in his right hand the Cross, in the power of which he wrought so many miracles, and in his left hand bearing the holy Rule, which leads all its followers by the way of the Cross to eternal light.
On a pedestal to the right of St. Benedict is the poisoned cup, shattered when he made the sign of the cross over it. On a pedestal to the left is a raven about to carry away a loaf of poisoned bread that a jealous enemy had sent to St. Benedict. Above the cup and the raven are the Latin words: Crux S-Patris Benedicti. [The initials C.S.P.B. are found on the reverse side – see above.]
Round the margin is the inscription: Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur – "May his presence protect us in the hour of our death."
Below St. Benedict we read: ex SM Casino MDCCCLXXX (from holy Monte Cassino, 1880).