School shirts are a dime a dozen, since school spirit will never be out of fashion. But with so many out there, more than one school can claim certain elements and proclaim them as their own. For instance, who really has the right to claim Animo?
But there’s one thing which no other school can claim, and we can proudly say it’s 100 percent Bedan—or should we say Benedictine, as it has existed for more than a millennia: the medal of St. Benedict.
July marks the feast month of St. Benedict, in which the medal was derived from.
The medal is considered the most highly indulgenced medal in the Catholic Church. The medal has a cross with letters inscribed, representing a Latin prayer; the faithful wear it to ward off evil, as protection against danger and sickness, and to procure assistance at the hour of death.
San Beda Alabang even gives medal car stickers to Bedan-owned cars. This strong symbol of faith, which can only be blessed by a Benedictine monk, is a cornerstone of the school, for no Benedictine student ever leaves the school’s four walls without owning one.
With this strong regard for the medal, a group of young entrepreneurs got the idea to wear the medal in a different light, and turned it into a tee. Daniel Cailo, one of the designers of Red Trend shirts, explained that they wanted to show the richness of Bedan culture, which isn’t just about collegiate basketball.
“Our marketing slogan is to know your roots,” he explained. In order to move forward, one must look to the past—in this case, looking back 1,500 years, to the time of the school’s patron.
Though the medal’s significance is taught to students as early as grade school, students may not fully grasp the essence in an academic setting. That is why shirts were also made for young Bedans, to see the importance of their Benedictine roots in a medium they can relate to. “We want to remind them where they come from,” said Cailo.
The Latin words “Pax” (peace) and “Fides” (faith) are also part of the design, with a drawing of a monk. “The concept is about faith in general,” explained Cailo. “The monk represent the Benedictine values we learned from them.”
Benedictine monk Dom Venard Bacarra OSB further expounded, “It is a testament to a belief, and at the same time it encapsulates the life of St. Benedict.”
The medal is a symbol of a prayer, “May we be strengthened in the hour of death by his presence.” Dom Vernard added, “In the end, it really is for calling or imploring God’s presence and protection through the intercession of St. Benedict.”
At the back of the shirt are the Benedicinte mottos, “Ora et Labora” (Prayer and Work) and “Ut omnibus glorificateur dei” (That in all things, God may be glorified).
This shirt is definitely different, compared to your usual school shirts—minus the pomp and pageantry, or the name of a school in screaming letters. Its message reflects the Benedictine value of simplicity—a message to all Bedans, to never forget where one has come from.