Oil Dedicated to St Engratia (virgin)
St Engratia is venerated as a virgin martyr and saint. Tradition states that she was martyred with eighteen companions in 303 AD. She should not be confused with the 8th-century Spanish martyr of the same name.
Although their martyrdom is traditionally placed around 303 during the Diocletianic Persecution. More recently it is considered probable that they died during the persecution of Valerian (254-260).
Engratia was a native of Braga who had been promised in marriage to a nobleman of Roussillon. He sent as her escort to Gaul her uncle Lupercius and a suite of sixteen noblemen and a servant named Julie or Julia. Upon reaching Zaragoza, they learned of the persecution of Christians there by the governor Dacian. Who reigned in the time of the emperors, Diocletian and Maximian. She attempted to dissuade him from his persecution. But was whipped and imprisoned when it was discovered that she was a Christian. She died of her wounds. Her companions were decapitated.
It is said that Dacian, to detect and so make an end of all the faithful of Saragossa. Ordered that liberty to practice their religion should be promised them. On condition that they all went out of the city at a certain fixed time and by certain designated gates. As soon as they had thus gone forth, he ordered them to be put to the sword and their corpses burned.
Their ashes were mixed with those of criminals. So that no veneration might be paid them. But a shower of rain fell and washed the ashes apart. Forming those of the martyrs into certain white masses. These, known as the “holy masses”. Where deposited in the crypt of the church dedicated to St. Engratia. Where they are still preserved.