St Joaquina Vedruna de Mas Healing Oil
The St Joaquina Vedruna de Mas healing oil is dedicated to the founder of the Carmelite Sisters of Charity. She married to a nobleman despite her desire to become a nun. Both her and her husband desired the religious life though. The couple bore nine children but she and her children fled after Napoleon invaded Spain to which her husband remained to fight as a volunteer and later died leaving her widowed but free to pursue her religious desires.
Born on 16 April 1783 in Barcelona. In 1795 she expressed a desire to become a Carmelite nun but her parents believed she was not mature enough to make such a decision. Her childhood was a pious one and she fostered a special devotion to the Infant Jesus while being known for her obsessive cleanliness.
She married the barrister and landowner Teodoro de Mas with whom she had nine children. Later with her husband they became members of the Third Order of Saint Francis and she became known as “Joaquina of Saint Francis of Assisi”. She moved with her children from Barcelona to their estate of “Manso Eseorial” in Vic. Once there she began to wear the habit of the third order on a frequent basis. Here she began her charitable activities with the sick and with women.
Founding Carmelite Order
The Bishop of Vic Pablo Jesús Corcuera told her to found an order. She agreed to and the institute would be of a Carmelite inspiration. She made her vows to the bishop on 6 January 1826. The same bishop wrote the rule for the order on 6 February 1826. She and another eight women professed their vows while she founded the order at that moment. Her congregation received the papal decree of praise from Pope Pius IX on 5 August 1857. The order was aggregated to the mainstream Carmelites on 14 September 1860; official papal approval came on 20 July 1880 from Pope Leo XIII.
She died during a cholera epidemic in Barcelona on 28 August 1854 but she fell victim to paralysis since 1850. A first attack of apoplexy came in September 1849 with more following. Her remains are in the order’s motherhouse in Vic. The order now operates in nations such as Japan and Eritrea, while in 2008 there were 2012 religious in 280 houses.
The sainthood cause commenced under Pope Benedict XV on 14 January 1920 in a move that titled her as a Servant of God while the confirmation of her model life of heroic virtue allowed for Pope Pius XI to title her as Venerable on 16 June 1935. The confirmation of two miracles attributed to her intercession saw Pope Pius XII preside over her beatification on 19 May 1940. And the confirmation of another two allowed for Pope John XXIII to canonise her on 12 April 1959 in Saint Peter’s Basilica.
St Joachina Verdruna de Mas healing oil/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.