St Jacinta healing oil
The St Jacinta healing oil is dedicated to one of the children Our Lady appeared to at Fatima.
Francisco Marto and his sister Jacinta Marto were canonised saints on May 13th 2017. They were the children from Fátima, Portugal, who said they witnessed three apparitions of an angel in 1916. Also, they experienced several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917. Their reported visions of Our Lady of Fátima proved politically controversial. In addition, it gave rise to a major centre of world Christian pilgrimage.
Francisco and Jacinta were typical of Portuguese village children of that time. They were illiterate but had a rich oral tradition on which to rely. They worked with their cousin Lúcia, taking care of the family’s sheep. According to Lúcia’s memoirs, Francisco had a placid disposition. He was somewhat musically inclined. He liked to be by himself to think. Jacinta was affectionate if a bit spoiled, and emotionally labile. She had a sweet singing voice and a gift for dancing. All three children gave up music and dancing after the visions began. They believed that these and other recreational activities led to occasions of sin.
Following their experiences, their fundamental personalities remained the same. Francisco preferred to pray alone, as he said “to console Jesus for the sins of the world”. Jacinta was deeply affected by a terrifying vision of Hell reportedly shown to the children at the third apparition. She became deeply convinced of the need to save sinners through penance and sacrifice. The Virgin had reportedly instructed the children to do this. All three children, but particularly Francisco and Jacinta, practiced stringent self-mortifications to this end.
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 but 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.