St. Benedict was born around 480 and died on March 21 although the exact year is disputed. The son of a Roman noble, he is the patron saint of students and co-patron of Europe, sharing that distinction with Saints Cyril and Methodius (declared by Pope John Paul II in 1980). Venerated by Anglicans and Catholics, Benedict had a profound influence on monasticism. His “Rule of Saint Benedict” contained instruction for monks that was widely adopted by religious communities. A founder of a dozen monasteries in Italy, he is widely credited with western monasticism and his influence has continued to echo throughout monastic teachings.

He is also the patron saint of farmers, civil engineers, monks, spelunkers, Italian architects and the dying. He is also venerated against poison, witchcraft, inflammatory diseases and temptations, to name several. It is worth noting that more than a few of those fields are focused on creation on one end of the spectrum and attempted destruction on the other. Catholics celebrate his feast day on July 11.

Saint Benedict Medals typically depict Benedict with a Cross and his Rules on one side with the the Latin phase meaning “May we, at our death, be fortified by His presence”. The opposite side of the medal features a cross with initials representing the phrase “May the Holy Cross be my light” vertically and “May the dragon never be my guide.” horizontally. Additional inscriptions are also included. Learn more about St. Benedict.