St Anne healing oil
The St Anne healing oil is dedicated to St Anne the grandmother of Jesus. Her feast day is shared with her husband Joachim on July 26. As grandmother of Christ and mother of Mary, Saint Anne soon became the patron of married women, and for childless couples a special aid in obtaining children. According to legend she was married three times, first to Joachim, after his death to Cleophas, and finally to Salomas. This detail of the ancient story inspired young women to turn to her for help in finding a husband. After all, since she had had three husbands herself, should she not be able and willing to provide at least one bridegroom for those who trustingly appealed to her? In the languages of all European nations young women implored her: I beg you, holy mother Anne, Send me a good and loving man.
Her patronage of fertility was extended also to the soil. Thus she became a patron of rain. It is a popular saying in Italy that “rain is Saint Anne’s gift”; in Germany, July rain was called “Saint Anne’s dowry”.
Finally, the gentle grandmother of the Lord is everywhere invoked as one of the great helpers for various needs of body and soul. Many churches have been erected to her, most of them becoming famous centers of pilgrimages. St. Anne of the Sunset is one such place and every year pilgrims gather to pray, asking her intercession, for their particular intention. A Novena of prayers is made to her beginning on July 18 and concluding on her feast day, July 26.
Tradition of oils
The tradition of anointing with sacred oil is very old indeed. It is used in sacraments and also as a devotional practice. The sick person applies the oil and blesses themselves. As they do so, they are asked to pray to whomever the oil is dedicated to. The Irish blessings oils do not have miraculous power. It is God who has the power to heal. Applying the oil while praying are important ways for us to express our faith in God’s power. By doing so we place our trust in God.