Oil dedicated to Fr Stanley Rother on prayer cloth
The Oil dedicated to Fr Stanley Rother on prayer cloth is in honour of the 20th century American martyr.
Stanley Francis Rother was born on 27 March 1935 in Okarche, Oklahoma.
The oldest of the children born to Franz and Gertrude Rother, he grew up on a farm and attended Holy Trinity Catholic Church and School. He worked hard doing required chores, attended school, played sports, was an altar server and enjoyed the activities associated with growing up in a small town.
While in high school, he began to discern the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood. He was accepted as a seminarian and was sent to Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, Texas. He completed his studies at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and was ordained a priest on May 25, 1963. Father Rother served as an associate pastor for five years in Oklahoma.
Fr. Stanley’s Death
While he served in Guatemala, a civil war raged between the militarist government forces and the guerrillas. The Catholic Church was caught in the middle due to its insistence on catechizing and educating the people. During this conflict, thousands of Catholics were killed. Eventually, Father Rother’s name appeared on a death list.
Within a few months, three men entered the rectory around 1 a.m. on July 28, 1981, fought with Father Rother and then executed him.
Missionary to Guatemala in 1968. Murdered for his work and faith.
On Dec. 1, 2016, Pope Francis officially recognized Father Rother as a martyr for the faith. He is the first martyr from the United States and the first U.S.-born priest to be beatified.
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.