Sunday, September 6, 2009

More on the Benedictines

The Benedictines have played many roles in Christianizing and civilizing the countries they visit. They are known for faithfully praying the Divine Office; some of their other accomplishments are listed here.

Missionary Work
The Benedictines erect monasteries wherever they go, and use that as a base for organizing missions.

Civilizing Influence
They carry knowledge and skills for organized work, agriculture, the arts and sciences, and the principles of true government.

Education and Parochial Work
The work of education and the cultivation of literature have always been looked upon as belonging by right to the Benedictines. The liberal arts and the study of the Holy Scriptures are given great attention.

Medal of St. Benedict

The medal bears the image of St. Benedict, holding a cross in the right hand and the Holy Rule in the left. On the one side of the image is a cup, on the other a raven, and above the cup and the raven are inscribed the words: "Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti" (Cross of the Holy Father Benedict). Around the margin of the medal stands the legend "Ejus in obitu nro praesentia muniamus" (May we at our death be fortified by his presence). The reverse of the medal bears a cross with the initial letters of the words: "Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux" (The Holy Cross be my light), written downward on the perpendicular bar; the initial letters of the words, "Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux" (Let not the dragon be my guide), on the horizontal bar; and the initial letters of "Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti" in the angles of the cross. Around the margin stand the initial letters of the distich: "Vade Retro Satana, Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana — Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas" (Begone, Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities — evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison). At the top of the cross usually stands the word Pax (peace) or the monogram IHS (Jesus).

1 comment:

Kindred Spirit said...

What a beautiful post on the Benedictines! We are blessed to have some of them here with us at regular intervals, and they are great inspirations. Welcome back from New Mexico; it's nice to have you in the blog world once again. :-)