St Josephine (virgin) healing oil
This St Josephine healing oil is dedicated to Josephine Bakhita. She is a heroic saint who endured the horrors of slavery with bravery.
Josephine was born around 1869 in Darfur part of western Sudan. She came from a wealthy Sudanese family, she was kidnapped by slave-traders at age 9, and given the name Bakhita (lucky) by them. Sold and resold in the markets at El Obeid and Khartoum, finally purchased in 1883 by Callisto Legnani, Italian consul who planned to free her. Subsequently, she accompanied Legnani to Italy in 1885, and worked as a nanny for the family of Augusto Michieli. Also, she was treated well in Italy and grew to love the country. An adult convert to Christianity, she joined the Church on 9 January 1890. The name of Josephine was a symbol of her new life.
She entered the Institute of Canossian Daughters of Charity in Venice, Italy in 1893, taking her vows on 8 December 1896 in Verona, Italy and serving as a Canossian Sister for the next fifty years. Her gentle presence, her warm, amiable voice, and her willingness to help with any menial task were a comfort to the poor and suffering people who came to the door of the Institute.
She died on 8th of February 1947 of natural causes in Italy
Remarking on Josephine Bakhita’s remarkable love and forgiveness, Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical Spes Salvi (“In Hope We Are Saved”), attributed Sr. Josephine’s hope and love to her hope in God’s love for her. St. Josephine knew that whatever happened to her, she would be, at the end of her life, greeted by the love who made her.
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. Moreover, it is a sacramental. 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. Prayer and a gesture of faith, like applying the oil, are important ways for us to express our faith in God’s power. By doing so we place our trust in God.