Wound in Jesus side healing oil
While in the course of his Passion, Jesus suffered various wounds, such as those from the crown of thorns and from the scourging at the pillar, medieval popular piety focused upon the five wounds associated directly with Christ’s crucifixion, i.e., the nail wounds on his hands and feet as well as the lance wound which pierced his side.
The revival of religious life and the zealous activity of Bernard of Clairvaux and Francis of Assisi in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, together with the enthusiasm of the Crusaders returning from the Holy Land, gave a rise to devotion to the Passion of Jesus Christ.
Prayers honouring the five wounds
Many medieval prayers in honour of the Sacred Wounds, including some attributed to Clare of Assisi have been preserved. St. Mechtilde and St. Gertrude of Helfta were devoted to the Holy Wounds, the latter saint reciting daily a prayer in honour of the 5466 wounds, which, according to a medieval tradition, were inflicted on Jesus during His Passion. In the fourteenth century it was customary in southern Germany to recite fifteen Pater Nosters each day (which thus amounted to 5475 in the course of a year) in memory of the Sacred Wounds.
There was in the medieval Missals a special Mass in honour of Christ’s Wounds, known as the Golden Mass, During its celebration five candles were always lighted and it was popularly held that if anyone should say or hear it on five consecutive days he should never suffer the pains of hell fire.
The Dominican Rosary also helped to promote devotion to the Sacred Wounds, for while the fifty small beads refer to Mary, the five large beads and the corresponding Pater Nosters are intended to honour the Five Wounds of Christ. Again, in some places it was customary to ring a bell at noon on Fridays, to remind the faithful to recite five Paters and Aves in honour of the Holy Wounds.
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.