Oil Dedicated to St Catherine of Bologna
The Oil is dedicated to St Catherine of Bologna who known as an Italian Poor Clares nun, writer, teacher, mystic, artist, and saint. The patron saint of artists and against temptations. Catherine de’ Vigri venerated for nearly three centuries in her native Bologna.
Her Early Life
She was born in 1413 in Bologna, Italy. Her father an important government official who worked for the Marquis of Ferrara. A member of the royal family. When she was 11, St Catherine invited to live in the palace to be a companion to the marquis’ daughter Margaret. A wonderful opportunity for Catherine. She and Margaret educated together by a private tutor. She especially enjoyed the art lessons she and Margaret given. Catherine discovered that God had blessed her with a talent for drawing.
During her years in the palace, Catherine also discovered that God calling her to a more simple and prayerful life. She returned home and joined a group of young women who performed good works in Jesus’ name and spent time in prayer together every day.
Soon, the women decided to join an order of nuns called the Poor Clares. These nuns turned away from anything that kept them from focusing on God. They had no personal possessions and shared everything. The Poor Clares lived in silence much of the time so that they could listen and talk to God in the quiet of their hearts without distractions. Appointed as the abbess, or superior, of the order.
St Catherine praised God through her art. She painted pictures of Jesus, Mary, and the saints. She created beautiful illuminated manuscripts by painting small illustrations on the pages of prayer books and Bibles, which she also lettered and copied by hand. She also wrote books and poems about her faith.
St Catherine’s Death
In 1463, aged 49, she became gravely ill and died within a few months.
Buried without a coffin and her body exhumed eighteen days later because of many cures attributed to her at her graveside and the sweet scent coming from her grave. Her body discovered incorrupt and remains so today. That means it has not decayed. Catherine dressed in her religious habit seated upright on a golden throne behind glass in the chapel of the Poor Clares in Bologna.
Tradition of oils
The tradition of anointing with sacred oil very old indeed. It is used in sacraments and also as a devotional practice. Sick person applies the oil and blesses themselves. As they do so, they asked to pray to whomever the oil dedicated to. Irish blessings oils do not have miraculous power. God who has the power to heal. Prayer and a gesture of faith, like applying the oil, important ways for us to express our faith in God’s power. By doing so we place our trust in God.