Wednesday, September 21, 2011

9/21/11 Report - Puzzle of Medallion Solved & Help from Rain

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I didn't get around to posting yesterday, I was doing some study and digesting all of the email that I received.

I received a lot of email in response to the questions about the religious medallion that I posted the day before yesterday. I guess that other people found the medallion as interesting as I did. The funny thing is, I almost didn't post it because I posted the other side of the medallion a couple of times before and thought people had already seen enough of it and wouldn't be interested. I was evidently wrong about that. Of course this time I did post a good photo of the side with all the writing, and there is the puzzle of figuring out what it says.

This medallion has been a mystery to me that has been unraveling very slowly for a number of years. At the risk of being a repetitive, when I originally found the medallion, I didn't know what it was. In fact, it was heavily encrusted and sat with a bunch of dug beach coins a long time before I ever decided to clean the coins. It wasn't until after I did some cleaning that I found out that this object had a cross shape to it and wasn't a coin at all, but rather a medallion.

After some more time, I eventually cleaned it some more, I could see that it had been gilted. There is some small amount of the gilt remaining.

As you can see, I haven't removed all of the sand yet, and might not. Or I might. It depends.

Anyhow the mystery of the medallion continued to slowly unravel.

I mentioned Laura Strolia's research on the medallion yesterday. Here is some of what she found .

I think I indeed found our answer to the medal picture. These sentences are from a site describing a story of St. Anthony.

St. Anthony of Padua had a beloved Psalter that was lost and that he begged God to be returned to him as it contained notes he'd written to help him instruct his students. In response to his prayers for the return of the book, a novice who'd left the Franciscan Order returned, bringing the Psalter (now kept at the Franciscan Friary in Bologna, Italy) with him and confessing that he'd stolen it and asking to be allowed to return to the religious life (this was granted). Thereafter, St. Anthony became the Patron Saint called on to pray with you to find lost objects.

Concerning the image on the front of the medallion, she says, The man bowing down in front of St. Anthony with head down, must be asking for forgiveness for stealing his book of Psalms (and notes). St. Anthony is forgiving while holding the book.

All of the emails that I received were helpful. I do intend to continue working on the medal.

After looking at the medallion last night with a jewelers loop, I think the photo is as readable as the original object, even with the loop. I'm not sure how much if any more cleaning I might do to it. I will, however, make an image of the medal that is more readable. Some people recommended making a rubbing. I do think I'll do that. I'll also make a drawing or some other type of impression.

Like I said, all of the emails were helpful and very much appreciated.

One email that I just received is from Moe, and seems to solve the puzzle of the words. Here is what Moe said.

The religious medallion shown is a St. Francis of Assisi medal. I believe that the words (Latin) on the back are a blessing that St. Francis wrote to Brother Leo.

"Benedicat tibi Dominus et custodiat te;
ostendat faciem suam tibi et misereatur tui.
Convertat vultum suum ad te et det tibi pacem"

I can see the words: Custodiat ostendat faciem miseratur convertat vultum

This prayer is known as "May the Lord give you peace".
The translation is:
"The Lord bless you and keep you;
may He show His face to you and have mercy.
May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace."

It is a very beautiful prayer for travelers.
Hope this helps.

Thanks much Moe.

On another subject, heavy rains uncovered evidence of a Myacean cemetery.

This illustrates something that I've said before. While we all wait for beach erosion from high seas, rain can also uncover old things. I was looking through sand washed out of the dunes just yesterday and finding some old stuff.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

I was out yesterday and saw a couple of beaches. One, as I mentioned had some erosion to the back dunes caused by rain.

Another thing about rain that helps, is you can sometimes see which tracks are recent and where people have been on the beach. The older tracks are washed away. You can tell where other people have been recently. That can help in a variety of ways.

I could tell that there was some erosion at one beach that occurred in the past few days, but it was slight and was mostly filled in again. Most beaches were building. There was lots of sea weed.

Coins seemed to be deep - even a modern light-weight Cuban coin was down several inches on the beach front.

We now have a named storm, Ophelia, which is tracking towards Puerto Rico by Sunday. I'll keep an eye on that.

Happy hunting,