Dom Bernardo Vincelli

Between the 12th and 17th Centuries, monks in all the Western European countries invented numerous elixirs. They had the necessary knowledge, technique, plants and spices. One of them stood out in particular, Dom Bernardo Vincelli, who could never have imagined the destiny of his elixir.

Dom Bernardo Vincelli

As a monk in the Benedictine order, Vincelli was apparently living at Monte Cassino when, in 1505, he was sent to Normandy with other Italian friars.

As an extremely erudite monk, he was by all accounts an expert in the study of hermetic philosophy, which originated from the doctrines of Hermes Trismegistus. Hermeticism focuses above all on the deepest and most essential aspects of the human soul. It combines both means of access to an occult knowledge of the profound nature of the human constitution and a transcendent vision of the relationship of man with the visible and invisible universe. Hermeticists seek out the secret pathways of a lost science.

Alchemy was one of the ways enabling monks to reach a higher level of knowledge. Vincelli was not apparently an expert in herbalism but more an alchemist.

One of the objectives of alchemy is
« perfection », or the production of the Philosopher’s Stone enabling the transmutation of metals, and in particular base metals, into noble metals such as gold and silver.

Another classic aim of alchemy is finding the Panacea (universal medicine) and the prolongation of life through an elixir for long life.

Plants and distillation techniques were scarcely a secret for Vincelli. By all accounts he crafted several recipes, including one based on local medicinal plants, enhanced by oriental spices, which became famous throughout the region. For almost three centuries, the Benedictines produced the famous elixir of Friar Bernardo, but this was interrupted by the French Revolution in 1789.

The Alchemists Experience Bénédictine® D.O.M.

Those events swept away everything in their path including Vincelli’s precious recipe which, had it not benefited from a strange set of circumstances, may well have disappeared for ever.