Description: Religious Medallion. Obverse: Saint Benedict; Patron Saint of Cave Explorers, Europe, Farmers, Agricultural Workers, Coppersmiths, Italian Architects, Monks, and people in religious orders. His patronage is invoked against poisoning, witchcraft, fever, and gall stones. Reverse: Glorious Holy Mary - Image of Virgin and Child, with the legend: S MARIA LAVRNTAS (anta) Maria Laur(e)nt(an)a. Translation: Glorious or Praiseworthy Holy Mary
Dimensions: 0.625 inches x 0.625 inches
History: Associated with the Shipwreck "El Bueno Consejo", on shore of the Caribbean Island Anguilla. The Galleon was carrying 50 Franciscan Monk and thousands of bronze religious medallions to be used in converting the New World to Christianity.
For quite some time we were of the belief that the image on this medallion is of Christ. Now, based on additional study and research, we are more inclined to agree that the image is that of Saint Benedict. Saint Benedict is known as the Father of Western Monasticism. His name means "blessed". Benedict and his twin sister, Saint Scholastica, were born in Nursia in 480 AD to a noble family. As a young man Benedict studied in Rome, but left in abhorrence of the city's vice. After spending three years in solitude in a cave at Subiaco, he accepted the occupation of abbot for a group of monks -- who later attempted to poison him. Between 527 AD and 530 AD Benedict built and established a monastery at Monte Cassino, where he founded the Benedictine Order, an Order which prescribed community life, manual labor, study, moderate asceticism, and care of the sick and the poor. Benedict had the gift of prophesy.
From his rule: "Make peace, before the setting of the sun, with those from whom you have been separated by discord". Most of what is known of Saint Benedict is learned from the second book of Dialogues written by Pope Saint Gregory the Great.