Oil dedicated to St Odilo of Cluny on prayer cloth
The Oil dedicated to St Odilo of Cluny on prayer cloth is in honour of the patron saint for jaundice.
A member of a noble family in Auvergne, France, he entered the Benedictine monastery of Cluny about 990 and received election as abbot in 994. He was beloved and respected throughout Europe for his deep austerities and his concem for the poor. In 1006, he even sold treasures of the Church to feed the poor during a famine. Through his efforts, the monasteries belonging to Cluny increased from thirty seven to sixty five. He also helped bring about the Truce of God and the feast of All Soul’s Day, and was a trusted advisor to popes and kings. He was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the Incarnation. Fulbert of Chartres called him Archangelus Monachorum, Archangel of Monks. Odilo died on January 1 while touring his monasteries.
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.