St Cornelius healing oil
The St Cornelius healing oil is dedicated to the patron for epilepsy and cramp
Cornelius was a Roman priest. He was elected Pope to succeed Fabian. Decius’ persecution of the Christians delayed the election by 14 months. His main issue was the Christians who had apostatized during the persecution. He condemned those confessors who were lax in not demanding penance of them.
However, he also denounced the Rigorists, headed by Novatian, a Roman priest. Novatian declared that the Church could not pardon the lapsed Christians. Also, he declared himself Pope. However, his declaration was illegitimate. This made him an antipope. The two extremes eventually joined forces. The Novatian movement had quite a vogue in the East.
Cornelius proclaimed that the Church had the authority to forgive repentant lapsi. He said the Church could readmit them to the sacraments. The Church required them to perform proper penances. A synod of Western bishops in Rome in October 251 upheld Cornelius. They condemned the teachings of Novatian. They excommunicated him and his followers. Persecutions of the Christians started up again in 253 under Emperor Gallus, Cornelius was exiled to Centumcellae. There he died a martyr. This was probably of hardships he was forced to endure.
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.
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