Oil dedicated to St Demetius
The Oil dedicated to St Demetius is dedicated to St Demetius of Persia. He died in 363 and is venerated as a Christian martyr and saint. According to tradition, he was martyred by lapidation during the reign of Julian the Apostate with two companions. He was killed at Nisibis in Mesopotamia.
Demetius of Persia was depicted in an 8th-century fresco in the church of Sancta Maria Antiqua in Rome. This may indicate that there were Greek-speaking monks at Santa Maria Antiqua, as evidenced by these frescoes, which not only depicted Demetius but also Saints Barachisius, Euthymius and Sabas of Palestine.
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.
The Irish Blessings oils are dedicated to the Holy Spirit, Our Lady and the saints. The oils come through prayer. They are placed on their designated altars for a period of prayer before being sent out. The oils are of therapeutic grade.
The oil is presented on a prayer cloth enclosed in a card. The small card goes out with the larger card that has the prayer for healing on the inside. The cards are personalised for the saint to whom the oil is dedicated to.