Oil dedicated to St Benedict
Oil dedicated to St Benedict is dedicated to the founder of the monastic tradition.
Benedict of Nursia is a Christian saint, who is venerated throughout the world. He is a patron saint of Europe.
Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, Lazio, Italy. He then moved to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy. The Order of Saint Benedict is of later origin. Moreover, not an “order” as commonly understood but merely a confederation of autonomous congregations.
The “Rule of Saint Benedict” is his main achievement. The rule contains precepts for his monks. It is heavily influenced by the writings of John Cassian. There is strong affinity with the Rule of the Master. Also, it has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness. Consequently, this persuaded most religious communities to adopt it. As a result, his Rule became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason, Benedict is often called the founder of western monasticism.
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.
Luke 10; 33-34. The Good Samaritan
“But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them”.