St Bonaventure healing oil
The St Bonaventure healing oil is dedicated to St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Feast day-July 15)
St. Bonaventure, known as “the seraphic doctor,” was born at Bagnoregio, in the Lazio region of central Italy, in 1221. He received the name of Bonaventure in consequence of an exclamation of St. Francis of Assisi. When asked by a child’s mother, the saint prayed for John’s recovery from a dangerous illness. Foreseeing the future greatness of the little child, cried out “O Buona ventura”-O good fortune!
Bonaventure becomes a Franciscan
At the age of twenty-two Bonaventure entered the Franciscan Order. Having made his vows, he was sent to Paris to complete his studies under the celebrated doctor Alexander of Hales, an Englishman and a Franciscan. After the latter’s death he continued his course under his successor, John of Rochelle. In Parishe became the intimate friend of the great St Thomas Aquinas. He received the degree of Doctor, together with St Thomas Aquinas, ceding to his friend against the latter’s inclination, the honor of having it first conferred upon him. Like St Thomas Aquinas, he enjoyed the friendship of the holy King, St. Louis.
At the age of thirty-five he was chosen General of his Order and restored a perfect calm where peace had been disturbed by internal dissensions. He did much for his Order and composed The Life of St. Francis . He also assisted at the translation of the relics of St Anthony of Padua. He was nominated Archbishop of York by Pope Clement IV, but he begged not to be forced to accept that dignity. Gregory X obliged him to take upon himself a greater one, that of Cardinal and Bishop of Albano, one of the six suffragan Sees of Rome. Before his death he abdicated his office of General of the Franciscan Order. He died while he was assisting at the Second Council of Lyons, on July 15, 1274.
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. Moreover, by doing so we place our trust in God.