Tobit Healing Oil
The Tobit healing oil is dedicated to the main character in the Book of Tobit in the Old Testament
The Book of Tobit, combines Jewish piety and morality with folklore in a fascinating story. It has enjoyed wide popularity in both Jewish and Christian circles. Prayers, psalms, and words of wisdom, as well as the skillfully constructed story itself, provide valuable insights into the Israelite faith. The book was probably written early in the second century B.C.; it is not known where.
Tobit, a devout and wealthy Israelite lived among the captives deported to Nineveh. He was from the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722/721 B.C. Tobit suffers severe reverses and is finally blinded. Because of his misfortunes he begs the Lord to let him die. However, he recalls the large sum he had formerly deposited in far-off Media. He sends his son Tobiah there to bring back the money. In Media, at this same time, a young woman, Sarah, also prays for death. She has lost seven husbands, each killed in turn on his wedding night by the demon Asmodeus. God hears the prayers of Tobit and Sarah and sends the angel Raphael in human form to aid them both.
Raphael makes the trip to Media with Tobiah. Tobiah is attacked by a large fish as he bathes in the Tigris River. Raphael orders him to seize it and to remove its gall, heart, and liver. Also, he tells him that they are useful for medicine. Later, at Raphael’s urging, Tobiah marries Sarah, and uses the fish’s heart and liver to drive Asmodeus from the bridal chamber. Returning to Nineveh with his wife and his father’s money, Tobiah rubs the fish’s gall into his father’s eyes and cures him. Finally, Raphael reveals his true identity and returns to heaven. Tobit then utters his beautiful hymn of praise. Before dying, Tobit tells his son to leave Nineveh because God will destroy that wicked city. After Tobiah buries his father and mother, he and his family depart for Media, where he later learns that the destruction of Nineveh has taken place.
The inspired author of the book used the literary form of religious novel (as in Esther and Judith) for the purpose of instruction and edification. The seemingly historical data, names of kings, cities, etc., are used as vivid details not only to create interest and charm, but also to illustrate the negative side of the theory of retribution: the wicked are indeed punished.
Tobit healing oil/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.
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 bottles of oils going out are accompanied with a prayer card. In addition, they are personalised for the saint to whom the oil is dedicated to.
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