Life of St. Maur
Since it is frequently impossible to have a relic of the True Cross, the Sacred Congregation of Rites granted on 6 March 1959, at the request of Benno Cardinal Gut OSB, then Abbot Primate of the Order of St. Benedict, the permission to use the medal of St. Benedict in place of the relic of the True Cross to confer the Blessing of St. Maurus with the approved form as given below.
Efficacy of the Blessing
The blessing of Saint Maurus has its efficacy through the power of the sign of the Cross, the veneration of the relic of the true Cross of our Redeemer, the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Benedict and St. Maurus, and the blessing of the Church. Innumerable facts attest that where the blessing of St. Maurus has been received with a lively faith, sincere contrition, and firm confidence in God, persons have been relieved of their bodily ills, sicknesses have been cured, and evident miracles have been wrought.
Form of the Blessing
Before the blessing is imparted, the relic of the true Cross of our Lord or the medal of St. Benedict is exposed, at least two candles having been lit. Acts of contrition and firm confidence should then be excited in the sick person, so that through the merits and intercession of St. Benedict and St. Maurus, if it should please God, health may be obtained. Three Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory be's are recited in honor of the Blessed Trinity. Then a priest or deacon, having put on a stole, and with his right hand holding up the relic or the medal of St. Benedict before the sick person, says the following prayers:
V. Benediction and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honor and power and strength to our God forever and ever.
V. My foot has stood in the direct way.
R. In the churches I will bless You, O Lord.
Through the invocation of the most holy name of the Lord may that faith, in which St. Maurus, by employing the words that follow, healed the sick, and in which I, though an unworthy sinner, utter the selfsame words, restore your health as you desire:
In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity and supported by the merits of the most holy Father Benedict, I bid you, N., to rise, stand upon your feet and be cured, in the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.
Antiphon. Surely He has borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: by His bruises we are healed.
V. He that forgives the iniquities of his creatures.
R. May He heal your infirmities.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come to You.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
Let us pray
O God, the Creator, of all things, You ordained that Your only Son should take flesh of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit for the restoration of your people and You deigned to heal the wounds and infirmities of our souls by the redemption accomplished upon the sacred and glorious wood of the life-giving Cross: do You also vouchsafe through this powerful sign to restore health to Your servant N.
Through the same Christ our Lord.
Let us pray
Lord Jesus Christ, You conferred upon the master, blessed Benedict, the privilege of obtaining from You whatsoever he might ask in Your name: vouchsafe, through his intercession, to heal all the infirmities of this Your servant: in order that, being restored to health, he (she) may give thanks to Your holy name.
You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.
Through the invocation of the Immaculate Mother of God and ever Virgin Mary, and the intercession of Saints Benedict and Maurus, may the Power + of God the Father, the Wisdom + of God the Son, and the Strength + of the Holy Spirit free you from your infirmities. Amen.
May God's holy will be done, and may it be done to you as you wish and pray, for the praise and honor of the most holy Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The priest then blesses the sick person with the relic of the Cross or the medal of St. Benedict saying:
May the blessing of Almighty God, of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit descend upon you and abide with you forever.
The sick person then kisses the relic or the medal of St. Benedict.
This blessing, if need be, may be repeated three times; also three votive Masses may be celebrated, namely in honor of the Passion, of St. Maurus, Abbot, and for the Poor Souls; otherwise the fifteen decades of the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary are to be prayed according to the aforesaid intentions by the sick person, or by others in the person's name.
Devotion to the Cross
The cross of Christ is the symbol of our redemption. By His death on the Cross, Christ redeemed the world and procured for us all blessings. We need not then be surprised to find among the Apostles a great love and veneration for the Cross. St. Paul says: "With Christ I am nailed to the Cross" (Gal. 2:19). And again: "God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world" (Gal. 6:14).
This reverence for the Cross was passed on by the Apostles to the early Christians, for whom the Cross of our Savior was the special object of devotion. They carved it on their tombs, marked it on their houses, imprinted it on their clothing, and on household articles. They signed themselves with the sign of the Cross on coming and going, before beginning any work and upon ending it, and in all trials and dangers. They expected to obtain through the instrument of our redemption every blessing from God, especially protection against the assaults of the devil and all dangers of body and soul.
As the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ was the chief object of devotion among the early Christians, so it was also with St. Benedict, the Patriarch of Western monasticism, and his disciples. St. Benedict often used the sign of the Cross to work miracles and to overcome the devil and his temptations; and it was this devotion of the Saint to the Cross that gave rise to the Cross or Medal of St. Benedict. The sons of St. Benedict have inherited this veneration and love of the Cross from their spiritual Father. We see this especially exemplified in the life of St. Maurus, a disciple of St. Benedict, who cherished a great devotion to the Cross of Christ, and who employed it as powerful means for curing the sick.
Nihil obstat: John Eidenschink, OSB JCD, Censor deputatus. Imprimatur: + Peter W. Bartholome, DD, Bishop of St. Cloud, March 3, 1963. HTML version: Tom Gillespie OSB; graphic: Placid Stuckenschneider OSB. Copyright 1963 by The Order of St. Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota.
Authentic, Beuronese Jubilee 1880 medals of Saint Benedict have been available in many different materials, with an explanatory leaflet, from The Liturgical Press, Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota 56321, since 1926.
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