St Eugene Mazenod Healing oil Patron for Wounded Families
The healing oil is dedicated to St Eugene Mazenod a French Catholic priest. Mazenod founded the congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Initially focused on rebuilding the Church in France after the Revolution, their work soon spread, particularly to Canada. Mazenod was appointed Bishop of Marseille in 1837, and Archbishop in 1851. And was considered a patron saint for families in difficulty.
His Early Life
Charles Joseph Eugene de Mazenod’s childhood taught him that money cannot solve all problems. Although his family was wealthy, they were forced to flee France during the French Revolution, leaving all of their possessions behind. It was 1790, and Charles was just 8 years old. His father had been a politician but was forced to become a tradesman in Italy, where they had sought refuge, and the family was very poor. They moved from city to city, making it difficult for Charles to have a good education, other than what was provided by one priest in Venice.
Charles spent the rest of his childhood in Italy, returning to France when he was 20. His parents had separated, and his mother was determined to regain the family’s lost wealth. She wanted her son to marry a rich girl whose family could help them.
The education Charles had received in Venice had included religious instruction, and the young man began to look at France in a new way. The Catholic Church in his native country had suffered a great deal during the Revolution. He was concerned by this. Although his mother was upset, Charles decided to become a priest in order to help the Church in France rebuild and to help his fellow French citizens. In 1811 he was ordained a priest in Paris.
The young priest’s uncle was bishop of the Diocese of Marseilles, and Father de Mazenod helped his uncle rebuild the diocese after the damage of the Revolution. In 1832, he was named auxiliary bishop to be of greater help, and five years later he was appointed Bishop of Marseilles. As bishop there he improved seminary training and encouraged priests to live truly holy lives.
St Eugene’s Death
He dies on 21 May 1861 at Marseille, France, because of cancer. And on 12th of December 1936, his body was exhumed and found to be intact. Part of his heart is venerated at Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the Oblate-owned Lourdes. Grotto of the Southwest in San Antonio, Texas, USA.
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.
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