Thursday, December 14, 2017

“Let Not the Dragon Be My Guide”

Editor's note: This is another great contribution from the one and only Holly Vaughan. You can follow her on Twitter here!

Saint Benedict was a rockstar you guys.  

I am giving a presentation on Benedictine Oblates to my local Daughters of Isabella chapter in the next 24 hours (pray for me would you?) and I’ve been combing back over some of my formation lessons so far, and I always find something even more awesome about this great Saint.  Since I’m sharing some Benedictine insight with them, I thought I would share some with you too! Namely - the Medal of Saint Benedict.  

Saint Benedict was a pioneer Catholic Hipster - the lovely Sarah Vabulas talks about many of his hipster qualities in the Catholic Hipster Handbook, so be sure to check out that chapter if you haven’t.  That’s fitting, because his medal is perfect for the Catholic Hipster - it wards off evil, and has some great symbolism to learn.

The medal, of course, is a sacramental of the Church.  It doesn’t get blessed in the manner most medals do, however.  It receives a special blessing and an exorcism.  It is known as one of the most powerful weapons in spiritual combat.  

Here is a list of the medals benefits:
1. To destroy witchcraft and all other diabolical and haunting influences;
2. To impart protection to persons tempted, deluded, or tormented by evil spirits;
3. To obtain the conversion of sinners into the Catholic Church, especially when they are in danger of death;
4. To serve as an armor against temptation;
5. To destroy the effects of poison;
6. To secure a timely and healthy birth for children;
7. To afford protection against storms and lightning;
8. To serve as an efficacious remedy for bodily afflictions and a means of protection against contagious diseases.

And several ways to use it:
  1. On a chain around the neck (most common);
  2. Attached to one’s rosary;
  3. Kept in one’s pocket or purse;
  4. Placed in one’s car or home;
  5. Placed in the foundation of a building;
  6. Placed in the center of a cross (you can buy crucifixes with the medal imbedded).

I wanted to explain the rich symbolism of the medal to you guys with a picture/diagram.  Those do exist on Google, however none of them seemed to have the detail or clarity that I was looking for.  So, being the stubborn person that I am, and having photoshop at my disposal - here you go. ;)
You’ll see the cross is prominent on the medal, both in pictures and mentions.  This is very in character with Saint Benedict and his great devotion to it.
Ready to have the Saint Benedict Medal in your life?!  Go find one either online, or at your nearest Catholic goods store, and have it blessed with the following formula. (Previously only Benedictines could bless them, but currently any priest can so long as they use the following formula of blessing and exorcism.)

Approved Blessing

of the Medal of St. Benedict

Medals of Saint Benedict are sacramentals that may be blessed legitimately by any priest or deacon -- not necessarily a Benedictine (Instr., 26 Sept. 1964; Can. 1168). The following English form may be used.

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

In the name of God the Father + almighty, who made heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them, I exorcise these medals against the power and attacks of the evil one. May all who use these medals devoutly be blessed with health of soul and body. In the name of the Father + almighty, of the Son + Jesus Christ our Lord, and of the Holy + Spirit the Paraclete, and in the love of the same Lord Jesus Christ who will come on the last day to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.

Amen.

Let us pray. Almighty God, the boundless source of all good things, we humbly ask that, through the intercession of Saint Benedict, you pour out your blessings+ upon these medals. May those who use them devoutly and earnestly strive to perform good works be blessed by you with health of soul and body, the grace of a holy life, and remission of the temporal punishment due to sin.
May they also with the help of your merciful love, resist the temptation of the evil one and strive to exercise true charity and justice toward all, so that one day they may appear sinless and holy in your sight. This we ask though Christ our Lord.

Amen.

The medals are then sprinkled with holy water.

What are you waiting for? Go get you some spiritual armor! :)

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