St Clelia Barbieri healing oil
The St Clelia Barbieri healing oil is dedicated to the 19th century youngest founder of a community.
St Clelia Barbieri was born to Giacinta Nannetti and Giuseppe Barbieri. On February 13th, 1847 in a village called “Budrie” of S. Giovanni in Persiceto in the outskirts of Bologna, Italy and in the Archdiocese of Bologna.
Her parents were of different origins. Giuseppe Barbieri came from perhaps the poorest family of “Budrie” while Giacinta from the most important family in town. He worked as servant for Giacinta’s uncle, the district’s medical doctor. While she was the daughter of the well-to-do Pietro Nannetti.
In line with her mother’s expressed wish, she was baptized Clelia, Rachele, Maria on the very day of her birth.
The mother taught Clelia to love God early in her life placing in her heart the desire for sanctity. One day Clelia asked her, “Mother, how can I become a saint?” In the meantime Clelia also learned the art of sewing, spinning and weaving kemp which was the most important work of the district.
Clelia’s father dies when she is 8
In 1855, during a cholera epidemic the then eight-year-old Clelia lost her father and through the generosity of her uncle, the doctor, she, her mother and younger sister Ernestina moved into a more comfortable house near the parish church.
For Clelia the days became more saintly and dedicated. Anyone who wanted to see her could always find her either at home weaving and sewing or in church praying.
Although it was usual at that time to receive First Communion almost at adulthood, Clelia due to her unusual catechistic preparation and spirituality, made hers on June 17th, 1858, at only eleven years of age.
This was a decisive day for Clelia’s future since it was then that she had her first mystic experience: exceptional contrition and repentance for her own sins and those of the world.
She underwent anguish and suffering for the sins that crucified Christ and so sorrowed Our Lady.
From the day of her First Communion, the crucifix and Our Lady of Sorrows inspired her saintly soul.
Clelia formed her own group of young women to pray and work together in community. She became the youngest founder in the Catholic Church. Clelia was only twenty years old when she inspired this small group of young ladies of similar religious ideals to join her in the performance of charity and good works.
Clelia, mystic, prophet and miracle worker
All of what Clelia had prophesized to her companions was eventually realized. Clelia died of tuberculosis on July 13, 1870 when she was only 23 years old. Her last words were prophetic: “Be brave because I am going to Paradise; but I shall always remain with you, too; I shall never abandon you!” This prophecy was also realized, since she soon proved her presence by the sounding of her voice. The miraculous phenomenon of her voice first took place during the evening of July 13, 1871, exactly one year after Clelia’s death, while the sisters were at prayer in the chapel.
The Sisters declared that:
“Suddenly there was the sound of a high-pitched, harmonious and heavenly voice that accompanied the singing in the choir; at times it sang solo, at other times it harmonized with us in the choir, moving across from right to left; sometimes it passed close by the ears of one or other of the sisters. The joy which it brought filled our hearts with a happiness impossible to put into words. The emotion that we experienced was so strong that it left you breathless until one had to call out: “Enough, dear Lord, enough!”
St Clelia Barbieri healing oil/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.