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St Dominic Savio healing oil
The healing oil is dedicated to St Dominic Savio patron for choirboys. He was noted for his piety and devotion to the Catholic faith, and was eventually canonized.
His Early Life
Dominic Savio was born on a beautiful spring day, April 2, 1842, in the village of Riva, two miles from the town of Chieri, in the province of Piedmont, northern Italy. He was the second of eleven children born to Charles and Brigid Savio, who were poor, hard-working, pious people.
Even at this early age, Dominic had begun the practice of the virtue which was later declared heroic at his beatification. From the time he was a small child, he had been very religious. He pleaded to help the Priest at Mass when he was only five, but more than simply observing religious customs and practices, Dominic lived his religion for the entire span of his brief life.
In 1854, he went to Turin and became a pupil at Don Bosco’s Oratory. Here he worked, studied, played and prayed for three years before his final illness forced him to return home. During Dominic’s brief time at the Oratory, he gained the love and respect of all the boys and the Priests. He was not pushy and would not interrupt to state his own views but he was not afraid to oppose wrong and could always give reasons why he thought a certain action was wrong.
Never in robust health, Dominic became quite ill in March of 1857 with what the doctors diagnosed as an inflammation of the lungs. The treatment in those days consisted of blood-letting or slitting a vein and letting ‘excess’ blood drain out. In the space of four days, the doctor cut Dominic’s arm ten times. Far from helping, this probably hastened his death. He died quietly in his home on March 9, 1857. His last words were – “What a beautiful thing I see.”
Like many a youngster, Dominic was painfully aware that he was different from his peers. He tried to keep his piety from his friends lest he have to endure their laughter. Even after his death, his youth marked him as a misfit among the saints and some argued that he was too young to be canonized. Pope Pius X wisely disagreed. For no one is too young—or too old or too anything else—to achieve the holiness to which we all are called.
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. Moreover, it is a sacramental. 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. Prayer and a gesture of faith, like applying the oil, are important ways for us to express our faith in God’s power. By doing so we place our trust in God.