Oil dedicated to St Benjamin on prayer cloth
The Oil dedicated to St Benjamin on prayer cloth is in honour of the 5th century Persian martyr.
After Abdas, a Christian Bishop burned the Temple of Fire, a Persian sanctuary, life for Christians in Persia during parts of the 4th and 5th centuries was torturous. Saint Benjamin, a deacon, was jailed for a year because of his faith. An ambassador of the Emperor freed St. Benjamin under the condition that Benjamin would never speak of his faith again.
St. Benjamin, however, declared it was his duty to preach Christ and that he could not be silent. Although he had been liberated on the agreement made with the ambassador and the Persian authorities, he would not acquiesce in it, and neglected no opportunity of preaching.
St. Benjamin’s Death
He was again apprehended and brought before the king. The tyrant ordered that reeds should be thrust in between his nails and his flesh and into all the tenderest parts of his body and then withdrawn. He was repeatedly tortured until he died in agony in the year 424. He showed Christians that no matter the pain endured, they must always proclaim their faith.
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.