Oil dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch on prayer cloth
The Oil dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch on prayer cloth is in honour of the early Christian martyr from Turkey.
Her father was a pagan priest in Pisidian Antioch, Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Her mother died when Margaret was an infant, and the girl was raised by a Christian woman. Margaret’s father disowned her, her nurse adopted her, and Margaret converted, consecrating herself and her virginity to God.
St. Margaret’s Death
One day a Roman prefect saw the beautiful young Margaret as she was tending sheep, and tried to get her into his bed. When she refused, the official denounced her as a outlaw Christian, and she was brought to trial. When she refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods, the authorities tried to burn her, then boil her in a large cauldron; each time her prayers kept her unharmed. She was finally martyred by beheading.
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.