Oil dedicated to St Blandina on prayer cloth
The Oil dedicated to St Blandina on prayer cloth is in honour of the 2nd century martyr.
St. Blandina was a slave in the second century and she is the patroness of young girls.
After the miraculous victory obtained by the prayers of the Christians under Marcus Aurelius, in 174, the Church enjoyed a kind of peace, though it was often disturbed in particular places by popular commotions, or by the superstitious fury of certain governors. This appears from the violent persecution which was raised three years after the aforesaid victory, at Vienne and Lyons, in 177, while St. Pothinus was bishop of Lyons, and St. Irenaeus, who had been sent there by St. Polycarp out of Asia, was a priest of that city. Many of the principal Christians were brought before the Roman governor. Among them was a slave, Blandina; and her mistress, also a Christian, feared that Blandina lacked strength to brave the torture. She was tormented a whole day through, but she bore it all with joy till the executioners gave up, confessing themselves outdone.
Even the heathens marked the joy of martyrdom in the Christians who were decked for their eternal espousals, and the misery of the apostate. But the faithful confessors brought back those who had fallen, and the Church, “that Virgin Mother,” rejoiced when she saw her children live again in Christ. Some died in prison, the rest were martyred one by one, St. Blandina last of all, after seeing her younger brother put to a cruel death, and encouraging him to victory. Blandina was tortured for her faith; body burned and ashes thrown in the Tiber River.
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.