St Fina (virgin) healing oil
The St Fina healing oil is dedicated to Saint Seraphina, also known as Fina. She is venerated for the courage with which she endured the suffering of illness.
Fina was born to a poor family in the town of San Gimignano, in the Tuscan region of Italy, in the 13th century. She was a beautiful child and had a strong devotion to prayer and to serving others. Even though her family was poor, she always kept half of her food to give to those who were also hungry. She helped her mother with chores and sewing during the day.
Her known history and suffering
Her father died when she was still young, and about that time, she was struck with a mysterious disease that deformed her head, hands, eyes, and feet. She lost her beauty and eventually suffered paralysis and had to be carried around on a plank. The slightest movement caused great pain.
When her mother died suddenly, she was left in utter poverty, reliant on other neighbors who were poor and who did not want to be exposed to her sores. She learned about St. Gregory the Great, who also suffered from a debilitating illness, and she developed a devotion to him, asking him for prayer that God might grant her patience in her suffering.
St. Gregory appeared to her to foretell the day she would die, which came to pass. When her body was removed from the plank on which it rested, the wood was found to be covered with white flowers, and her relics rest in the reliquary chapel of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Notre Dame’s campus.
St. Seraphina, who even in weakness became a strong sign of hope to the town of San Gimignano
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.