St Catherine of Genoa healing oil
Daughter of Jacopo Fieschi and Francesca di Negro, Geonese nobles; she was related to Pope Innocent V and Pope Adrian V, Her fatherbecame viceroy of Naples, Italy. Youngest of five children. A pious and prayerful girl, she early felt a call to religious life. She tried to enter a convent at age 13, was turned away because of her youth. At 16 she entered into an arranged marriage with a young Genoese nobleman, Giuliano Adorno. They were a childless couple. He was careless and unsuccessful as a husband and provider. He was often cruel, violent and unfaithful, and reduced them to bankruptcy. Catherine became indifferent to her faith, and fell into a depression.
In 1473, Catherine was struck down by a vision, the revelation of God‘s love and her own sinfulness. She fell into a religious ecstasy; her interior state, stayed with her the rest of her life. She returned home, helped lead her husband to the faith. The two lived together chastely the rest of their lives, working with the sick and poor till the death of Julian in 1497. She became a Franciscan tertiary, serving as a tertiarydirectress in 1490. Caught and survived the plague in 1493. Spiritual student of Father Cattaneo Marabotti in 1499, and he helped her to write and arrange descriptions of what she had seen and learned in her visions. It is her writings that have continued her fame today; during her canonization inquiry, the Holy Office announced that her writings alone were enough to prove her sanctity.
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 is invited to apply oil on the part of their body they want healed. 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.