.Blessed Marcel Callo Healing Oil
The Blessed Marcel Callo healing oil is dedicated to the 20th century French martyr.
Marcel Callo was born in Rennes on 6 December 1921. He was the second of nine children to Marcel Callo and Felicita Maria Giuseppina.
Callo was known as a child for being a leader-like figure and for his perfectionist attitude. He was known for his good sense of humor. Also, he was fond of games such as ping pong and cards.
He attended a range of schools in Rennes. Marcel served as an altar server until the age of seven. Callo became a Scout at the age of ten in 1931. He considered himself to be as such for the remainder of his life; he left them at the age of eleven. Callo gained work as an apprentice at the age of thirteen. Callo did not like to associate himself with fellow workers. They swore or told improper stories and aligned himself with fellow Christians.
Young Christian Worker
He joined the Young Christian Workers in 1935. Joseph Leo Cardijn (future cardinal) had established them. His mother approached Callo on one particular occasion. She asked her son if he had an inclination to become a priest like his brother. Callo responded to her: “I do not feel called to the priesthood; I think I do more good by remaining in the world”.
In 1940 during World War II he and his friends made trips to the same train station. This wae to assist the refugees that were fleeing from Eastern Europe.
Marcel is engaged to be married
He became engaged to Marguerite Derniaux at the age of 20. Due to the war the couple never married though were engaged. Despite this Derniaux remained faithful to her fiancé. The two also enacted a strict spiritual rule of life that included going to Mass and the frequent reception of the Eucharist. In the aftermath of the Rennes bombings – on 8 March 1943 – his sister Maria Maddalena died from injuries that she sustained during the attack.
He was conscripted to serve during the war and his original intention was to flee but remembered that if he did so those he left back home would be arrested to coerce him. He was reluctant but agreed to serve and when conscripted said: “I’m leaving not as a worker but as a missionary in the service of my companions”; Callo departed on 19 March 1943 for his service and brought with him – which he kept at all times – his badges as both a Scout and a member of the Jocists.
The Gestapo arrested Callo on 19 April 1944 due to his membership with the Jocists which was perceived to be an outlawed and secret order. The arresting officers told Callo that he was being taken because he was “too much of a Catholic” and was seen as a threat to the Nazi regime. He was sent to camps on 7 October 1944 in Gotha and then in Flossenbürg; from there he was taken to the Gusen I and II parts of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. It was there that Callo was placed through rigorous forced labor for a total of twelve hours where he was also abused and beaten.
Marcel dies a martyr/Blessed Marcel Callo healing oil
In the dawn of 19 March 1945 he died after contracting tuberculosis and a mix of other ailments such as dysentery. He was buried in a mass grave outside the walls of the camp and his remains never recovered. Colonel Tibodo – who saw thousands die in the camps witnessed that of Callo’s and said of it with emotion: “Marcel had the look of a saint”; Tibodo also testified for the beatification proceedings and said: “I have never seen in a dying man a look like his”.
The beatification process commenced in Rennes in a diocesan process from 1 March 1968 until 19 March 1969 in order to evaluate his life as well as the work he was involved with and the manner in which Callo died “in odium fidei” (in hatred of the faith). This took place despite the fact that the formal introduction of the cause came under Pope John Paul II on 7 January 1982 in an act that confirmed upon Callo the posthumous title Servant of God. A second process however was dispensed and allowed for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to accept the process and decree it was valid on 9 January 1987 and commence the so-called “Roman Phase” in which Rome would begin its own line of investigation.
The Positio was submitted to Rome for investigation in 1987 and after both theologians and the Congregation approved the case it was taken to the pope who confirmed on 1 June 1987 that Callo had indeed died because of others’ hatred for his Christian faith; this meant that he could be beatified without a required miracle. John Paul II beatified Callo on 4 October 1987.
Blessed Marcel Callo healing oil/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.
The Irish Blessings oils are dedicated to the Holy Spirit, Our Lady and the saints. The oils come through prayer. They are placed on their designated altars for a period of prayer before being sent out. The oils are of therapeutic grade.
The bottles of oils going out are accompanied with a prayer card. In addition, they are personalised for the saint to whom the oil is dedicated to.