The Monastery of the Transfiguration, Bukidnon

"Peace to all who enter." This sign greets you at the entrance to the monastery run by Benedictine monks. After following a relatively narrow and winding road, you come upon a place that appears to calm you just by being.

We climb up the steps to get to the chapel designed by Architect Leandro Locsin. Posted outside the chapel is the schedule of the monks' prayer time from matins to vespers.

As you face the altar, you will see a painting of the transfiguration of Christ. When the lights at the altar are turned on, the face of Christ glows and shines - as if to remind us that there can be no brightness in our life apart from Him. "Be still and know that I am God," yet another sign greets us within the monastery. When was the last time you were still enough to hear God's voice?

The monks likewise have a little store near the chapel where they sell various products from religious figurines, to rosaries, to cassette tapes, and even food. You can buy their Monk's Blend coffee, Monk's peanut butter (very smooth and creamy, not too sweet - masarap!), roasted peanuts, and Piniato. Piniato is a rectangular-shaped peanut brittle type of product and it is individually wrapped. It can come in plastic packaging or plastic canisters. I like it because it is chewy and not too sweet. I like it better than Baguio peanut brittle.

The store also sells some St. Benedict medals. I asked the staff what St. Benedict's specialization was (you'd think the saints were doctors, huh?) and he replied by saying: "Exorcism and fighting evil spirits." I was looking for a copy of a prayer to St. Benedict too but they didn't have it. Anyway, I bought just one medal since I didn't really know what it was all about.

Fast forward to Manila. My mom has something on the medal of St. Benedict! I should have bought more medals to give away. Read on for details on the medal taken from a prayer pamphlet that my mom has:

"...one side of the medal represents St. Benedict holding the Cross in one hand and the Holy Rule in the other. Around the image of St. Benedict are these words in Latin: "May his presence protect us in the hour of death."

"The reverse of the medal shows the image of the Cross. Around the margins are the initials of Latin words... The English translation is: "Begone Satan! Suggest not to me thy vain things. The cup thou profferest me is evil; drink thou thy poison." In the angles formed by the arms of the Cross are the letters C.S.P.B., signifying "Cross of the holy Father Benedict." The Letters on the Cross itself have this meaning: May the holy Cross be my light; let not the dragon be my guide."

The following is a partial list of the many pious purposes of the Medal of St. Benedict:

1. It wards off from both the soul and the body all dangers arising from the devil.
2. The Medal is powerful in obtaining for sinners the grace of conversion.
3. It obtains protection and aid for persons tormented by the evil spirit, and in temptations against holy purity.
4. It procures assistance in the hour of death.
5. It has often proved an efficacious remedy for bodily sufferings and a means of protection against contagious diseases.
6. Expectant mothers have obtained special assistance for safe delivery.
7. In time of storms, tempests, and other danger on land and sea it has been found to be a protection.

So if and when I do get back to the Benedictine monastery in Bukidnon, I'll get hold of more medals.

By the way, they also hold morning masses at the chapel at 5:20am.

Next entry: The Carmelite Monastery

Related Link: Malaybalay, Bukidnon Travelogue

[By Angelica Viloria | Tuesday, November 18, 2003]


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