What is an Oblate?

By becoming an Oblate of Saint Benedict, Christian men or women choose to associate themselves with a Benedictine religious community in order to strengthen their baptismal commitment and enrich their Christian way of life.

Become An Oblate

Do you seek God in Jesus Christ and want to know him more fully? Intensify your faith journey by becoming an Oblate. In joining an Oblate group, you will experience the support of a group whose members share a common commitment to Catholic, Christian values enlivened by The Rule of Saint Benedict. The Oblates of St. Walburga Deanery, Baltimore, meet the 3rd Sunday of the month in The Notre Dame Room at 3:00 p.m. Any change in date  or meeting time is announced at least a month ahead of time in the bulletin. For information on becoming an Oblate, call the parish office at: (410) 947-4988 


Obverse, Saint Benedict Medal

Reverse, Saint Benedict Medal

Fr. Paschal and Oblates of Saint Benedict during the Oblate Congress in Fall 2013

Fr. Paschal and Oblates of Saint Benedict during the Oblate Congress in Fall 2013

The Saint Benedict Medal

It is not known when the first medal of Saint Benedict was struck. At some point in history, a series of capital letters was placed around the large figure of the cross on the reverse side of the medal. For a long time the meaning of these letters was unknown, but in 1647 a manuscript dating back to 1415 was found at the Abbey of Metten, Bavaria, giving an explanation of the letters.

The Jubilee medal (front) was struck in 1880 under the supervision of the monks of Montecassino, Italy, to mark the 1400th anniversary of the birth of Saint Benedict. The design of this medal was produced at St. Martin's Archabbey, Beuron, Germany, at the request of the prior of Montecassino, Archabbot Boniface Krug O.S.B. (1838-1909). Boniface Krug was a native of Baltimore and originally a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, until he was chosen to as Archabbot of Montecassino.

 

Obverse Side of Medal

The Cross of Eternal Salvation

  • On the face of the medal is the image of Saint Benedict. In his right hand he holds the cross, the Christian's symbol of salvation. The cross reminds us of the zealous work of evangelizing and civilizing England and Europe carried out mainly by the Benedictine monks and nuns, especially for the sixth to the ninth/tenth centuries.

Rule and Raven

  • In St. Benedict's left hand is his Rule for Monasteries that could well be summed up in the words of the Prologue exhorting us to "walk in God's ways, with the Gospel as our guide." On a pedestal to the right of St. Benedict is the poisoned cup, shattered when he made the sign of the cross over it. On a pedestal to the left is a raven about to carry away a loaf of poisoned bread that a jealous enemy had sent to St. Benedict.

C. S. P. B.

  • Above the cup and the raven are the Latin words: Crux s. patris Benedicti (The Cross of our holy father Benedict). On the margin of the medal, encircling the figure of Benedict, are the Latin words: Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur! (May we be strengthened by his presence in the hour of our death!). Benedictines have always regarded St. Benedict as a special patron of a happy death. He himself died in the chapel at Montecassino while standing with his arms raised up to heaven, supported by the brothers of the monastery, shortly after Saint Benedict had received Holy Communion.

Monte Cassino

  • Below Benedict we read: ex SM Casino MDCCCLXXX (from holy Monte Cassino, 1880). This is the medal struck to commemorate the 1400th anniversary of the birth of Saint Benedict.

 

Reverse Side of Medal

Crux mihi lux

  • On the back of the medal, the cross is dominant. On the arms of the cross are the initial letters of a rhythmic Latin prayer: Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux! (May the holy cross be my light! May the dragon never be my guide!). In the angles of the cross, the letters C. S. P. B. stand for Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti (The cross of our holy father Benedict).

Peace

  • Above the cross is the word pax (peace), that has been a Benedictine motto for centuries. Around the margin of the back of the medal, the letters V R S N S M V - S M Q L I V B are the initial letters, as mentioned above, of a Latin prayer of exorcism against Satan: Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. Ipse venena bibas! (Be gone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poison yourself!)