St Peregrine Healing oil
St. Peregrine was born in 1260 at Forlì, Italy to an affluent family. He lived a comfortable life as a youth, and politically opposed the papacy. He experienced the forgiveness of St. Philip Benizi. Consequently, this event changed his life and he joined the Servite order. He was ordained a priest. Afterwards, he returned to his home to establish a Servite community. There he was widely known for his preaching, penances, and counsel in the confessional. Also, Peregrine received a vision of Christ on the cross reaching out His hand to touch his impaired limb. His cancerous leg was healed. He died in 1345 and was canonized in 1726. St Peregrine is the patron of cancer patients
Saint Peregrine healing oil is dedicated to St Peregrine. He was healed of a cancerous ulcer on his leg which was considered beyond saving. The fame of this event in 1325 spread rapidly round the western Church. Christians, and especially the sick, began to invoke his name and seek his intercession for the relief of their suffering and even for a cure from sickness. The canonization of St. Peregrine in 1726 increased people’s devotion to him which spread to the universal Church.
Even with great developments in medicine, there are still many diseases which are incurable. Some of them are claiming more and more victims. Because of this, the prayers to this saint are becoming more intense. Also, they are becoming more frequent because this was a person who knew suffering and sickness in his life and also knew the power of divine grace helping him. The Servite family – with its friars, sisters, secular, and lay members – is committed across the world to offering a “ministry of compassion” in a spirit of service towards those who are sick and suffering.
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. 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.
The bottles of oils going out are accompanied with a prayer card personalised for the saint to whom the oil is dedicated to.