Oil dedicated to St Charles Lwanga on prayer cloth
The Oil dedicated to St Charles Lwanga on prayer cloth is in honour of the 19th century Ugandan martyr and saint.
Charles Lwanga was born in Uganda on the continent of Africa in the last half of the 19th century. He and other young men and boys were required to work for King Mwanga. King Mwanga was an evil man who treated all people harshly, especially the boys who worked for him.
Charles and his friends learned about Christianity from the Society of Missionaries of Africa who were working in Uganda. They learned about Jesus and asked to be baptized. They became followers of Jesus Christ. The missionaries also tried to keep the boys safe from the king.
One day, King Mwanga forced the missionaries to leave the country. So, Charles began teaching people about Jesus. There were only a a few hundred Christians in Uganda at that time. He also worked to protect his friends from the wicked king. The king became so angry that he ordered Charles and his friends put into prison and then killed in 1886. They were forced to walk 37 miles to the place where they were burned to death.
Charles and his friends are called martyrs because they died for their faith. Charles Lwanga and the other Ugandan martyrs were canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964.
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.
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