Oil dedicated to St Benedict on prayer cloth
Oil dedicated to St Benedict on prayer cloth is dedicated to the founder of the monastic tradition.
Benedict of Nursia is a Christian saint of the Catholic Church. He is also venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Benedict is a patron saint of Europe. He founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, Lazio, Italy. Benedict then moved to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy. The Order of Saint Benedict is of later origin. Moreover, not an “order” as commonly understood but merely a confederation of autonomous congregations.
The “Rule of Saint Benedict” is his main achievement. The rule contains precepts for his monks. It is heavily influenced by the writings of John Cassian. There is strong affinity with the Rule of the Master. Also, it has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness. Consequently, this persuaded most religious communities to adopt it. As a result, his Rule became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason, Benedict is often called the founder of western monasticism.
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.