Next to a rosary, the one other religious item that’s sure to be in every devout Catholic’s possession is the St. Benedict medal.
Rich in detail and symbolism, the medal represents the saint with a lengthy and diverse patronage—besides poison, dying people, and monks, he’s also the patron saint of Europe, people in religious orders, schoolchildren, and servants who have broken their master’s belongings. And let’s not forget his power to drive away the Devil. Accounts of his amazing intercession can be found in Gregory the Great’s book, Dialogues.
Need a miracle? Ask St. Benedict to help intercede for your intentions. On his feast day this July 11, My Pope Philippines look back at some of his most wondrous deeds.
Patron saint against poison
Whether it was because they were envious of him or couldn’t take his strict ways, Benedict was always the target of assassination.
But all attempts failed. A glass with a poison-laced drink that monks presented to him shattered when Benedict made the Sign of the Cross. And the priest Florentius, who was jealous of Benedict, gave him a loaf of poisoned bread. Just as Benedict had blessed it, a raven snatched it away, saving him from an untimely death.
Patron saint of servants who have broken their master’s belongings
Said to be his first miracle, the incident involved his nurse borrowing a sieve from him to make wheat. Upon leaving it on the table, the sieve broke, and the nurse cried out of fear. Taking pity on his nurse, the young Benedict took the broken sieve, wept as he prayed, and when he finished, found the sieve completely intact.
Patron saint of schoolchildren
Many of Benedict’s miracles include curing children or bringing them back to life. In one instance, a boy who was helping monks build a wall was crushed to death by the wall’s sudden collapse, a freak accident instigated by the Devil. Mourning the loss of a young life, the monks took the boy’s remains to Benedict, who prayed over him in the silence and solitude of his cell. The boy instantly sprung to life, and happily went back to work.
Another case was of a boy stricken with leprosy, causing his hair to fall and his body to swell. Once the boy was sent to Benedict, he was immediately restored to good health. And a miracle, for want of a better word, is the only way to describe the time a despondent father pleaded for Benedict to revive his dead son.
“Behold not, O Lord, my sins, but the faith of this man, that desires to have his son raised to life, and restore that soul to the body, which you have taken away,” said Benedict. The Holy Man had barely completed his prayer when the boy suddenly came alive.
Patron saint of monks
A lot of Benedict’s monk-related miracles saw him putting them in their place (such as the time he read the proud thoughts of a monk, or the time he called out a monk for hiding handkerchiefs for personal use). But there are also instances when he saved them from harm. Unbeknownst to an elder monk who was drawing water, the Devil had entered him, possessing him to fall to the ground and suffer torment. All it took was a little blow from Benedict’s hand to cast the Devil away and save the poor monk from torture.