Blessed Stephania healing oil
The Blessed Stephania healing oil is dedicated to Blessed Stephana de Quinzanis. She was an Italian Dominican Sister, stigmatic and mystic.
She was born in 1457 in Brescia, Italy. Her father became a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic. Stephana was very young. At the Dominican monastery, she met the stigmatic friar, Blessed Matthew Carrieri. He instructed her in the catechism. Carrieri told her that she would be his spiritual heiress. She did not understand for many years.
She began receiving visions of Dominican saints from age seven. At this age, she made vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In a subsequent miraculous experience in 1464, Christ appeared to her. The Lord was accompanied by Mary and Dominican Saints. Jesus presented her with a wedding ring, signifying her mystical marriage. Carrieri died when Stephana was 14 years old. Soon after he appeared to her in a vision, and she herself received the stigmata.
Stephania joins the Dominicans
Stephania started to work as a servant for her living. However, she continued in her formation in the Third Order. At age 15 made her profession at the Dominican priory in Soncino. She founded a community of Third Order Sisters there. She served as its first prioress.
Her counsel was sought by many, including Saint Angela Merici, foundress of the Ursulines. Blessed Augustine Fangi, as well as her fellow Dominican, the Blessed Osanna of Mantua. She participated in various stages of the Passion of Jesus Christ. This was attested to by 21 witnesses in 1497 in a still extant account. Sources state that although Stephana was “ugly”, she had magnificent hair. Grudging herself this one beauty, she pulled it out by the roots.
St Thomas Aquinas
Stephania had a particularly intense devotion to Saint Thomas Aquinas. In fact, she once threw herself upon a cartload of thorns in imitation of the Doctor Angelicus. Exhausted from this penance, she prayed to Saint Thomas, and, according to legend, was girded by angels with a cord, which they tied so tightly around her waist that she cried out in pain.
Though she had no formal theological training, she could discuss mystical theology at the most profound level. She is considered a patron saint for theologians. It is said that she could read the hearts and minds of the people around her, and had the gift of prophesy and healing. She lived in a nearly continuous fast. She accurately predicted the date of her own death, which occurred from natural causes on 2 January 1530.
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 is an important way for us to express our faith in God’s power. Moreover, by doing so we place our trust in God.