Cross of St. Benedict

St. Benedict was devoted to the Cross.  The biography of St. Benedict describes how he would call on Christ by making the Sign of the Cross in times of great need.  Because of the power of the Cross, St. Benedict overcame temptations and performed many miracles.  As a spiritual father, St. Benedict challenged his sons to make the Sign of the Cross on their chest during times of temptation.  At their solemn profession, St. Benedict prescribed that each monk make his vows before God at the altar and then make the Sign of the Cross on the document.

Cross of St. Benedict, Front

Cross of St. Benedict, Front

The Cross of St. Benedict is a Crucifix with the Medal of St. Benedict on the front and back.  The letters on the Medal of St. Benedict stand for the words of an ancient exorcism prayer.  Also on the Medal, St. Benedict is pictured holding the Cross.  Crosses are most often made out of metal or wood.  This free standing Cross was carved by Christians in Bethlehem, Israel.

Cross of St. Benedict, Back

Cross of St. Benedict, Back

Looking for a description of the Medal and Cross of St. Benedict?  This book is good.  The Medal or Cross of St. Benedict was first published in 1880.   It details the origin, meaning and privileges the Church has attached to the Medal and Cross of St. Benedict.  This copy was purchased at the Leaflet Missal Company in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Cross of St. Benedict Book

“The cross is an object of terror to the evil spirits; they ever crouch in terror before it; they no sooner see it than they let go their prey and take flight.  In a word, of such importance to Christians is the cross and the blessing it brings along with it, that from the times of the Apostles, down to our own age, the faithful have ever been accustomed frequently to make the sign of the cross upon themselves…” page 3

Like our founder, Benedictine monks are devoted to the Cross of Jesus Christ.

Monks for Life

St. Benedict lived in a time when human life was under attack.  Rome had been sacked.  Barbarian armies had defeated the empire.  One invading Ostrogoth even met with St. Benedict, King Totila.  If you read The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization, by Bryan Ward-Perkins, Oxford University Press, you get a sense of the loss of human life that occurred before and during the life of our founder St. Benedict.  St. Benedict opposed the taking of innocent human life.  He wrote, “run while you have the light of life,” and this is what the Benedictine monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey are doing.  We are pro-life.  We are monks for life.

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After blessing almost 500 Benedictine College students, staff and faculty, Abbot James Albers, St. Benedict’s Abbey, joined them on the 23 hour bus ride to Washington, D.C., to lead the 2014 National March for Life.

The student leaders of Ravens Respect Life organize Benedictine College for the March for Life.  The first faculty adviser for this pro-life group at Benedictine College was Fr. Matthew Habiger, OSB.  Abbot James Albers, OSB, helped found Ravens Respect Life during the time he was an undergraduate.   Abbot James also organized and lead the Benedictine College March for Life as a student.  Fr. Matthew and Abbot James are monks for life.

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Almost 500 students, faculty and staff, one college president, one Benedictine Abbot with Benedictine monks loaded 8 buses and boarded 1 plane for the 2014 National March for Life.

St. Benedict’s name means “blessing” in Latin.  Abbot James gave everyone a blessing before the 23 hour bus ride to our nation’s capital.

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Fr. Meinrad Miller, Novice Master, Fr. Jeremy Heppler, Prior, Fr. Brendan Rolling, College Chaplain, stand with junior and novice monks with the 8 buses and St. Benedict’s Abbey Church in the background.

Benedictine monks gathered as part of the send off for this historic number of monks and students.  This year we are proud to lead the National March for Life from the Washington Mall, up Constitution Avenue to the front steps of the United States Supreme Court.

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Benedictine monks lead the 2014 March for Life. Pictured in front of the United States Supreme Court are Abbot James Albers of St. Benedict’s Abbey with Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Steve Minnis, President of Benedictine College, David Trotter, Director for Mission and Ministry, and Kathryn Brown, President of Ravens Respect Life.

Just after this picture was taken, everyone gathered to pray a Rosary for an end to abortion, for mothers in crisis and for Jesus Christ to heal our broken nation.  St. Benedict, monk for life, pray for us.

Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls

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Monks of the Order of St. Benedict have managed the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls for over 1,100 years.  The Basilica houses the relics of St. Paul the Apostle in the center Baldaquino.  The Basilica is one of the four Major Basilicas of Rome.  This statue of St. Benedict is in an intimate chapel to the right of the main apse where pilgrim groups are allowed to celebrate Mass.  When you enter the main door of St. Paul Outside the Walls, you feel like you are walking into a scene in Lord of the Rings.

Medal of St. Benedict

The Medal of St. Benedict was inspired by St. Benedict’s devotion to the Cross of Jesus Christ.  As a disciple of Christ, St. Benedict said, “we shall through patience share in the sufferings of Christ that we may deserve also to share in his kingdom. ” -Rule, Prologue, verse 50