St Leonard of Noblac healing oil
The healing oil dedicated to St Leonard of Noblac, one of the most venerated saints of the late Middle Ages. His intercession credited with miracles for the release of prisoners, women in labour and the diseases of cattle.
His Early Life
Born to the Frankish nobility. Part of the court of the pagan King Clovis I. The Queen suggested to Leonard, possibly as a joke that he invoke the help of his God to repel an invading army. Leonard prayed the tide of battle turned and Clovis was victorious. Archbishop Saint Remigius of Rheims used this miracle to convert the King Leonard and a thousand of followers to Christianity.
Leonard began a life of austerity, sanctification, and preaching. His desire to know God grew until he decided to enter the monastery at Orleans, France. His brother Saint Lifiard followed his example and left the royal court built a monastery at Meun and lived there. Leonard desired further seclusion and so withdrew into the forest of Limousin converting many on the way and living on herbs, wild fruits, and spring water. He built himself an oratory, leaving it only for journeys to churches. Others begged to live with him and learn from him, and so a monastery formed around his hermitage. Leonard had a great compassion for prisoners, obtaining release and converting many.
St Leonard’s Death
Around 559, he died of natural causes. Many of his followers dedicated churches to him across Europe, and traveled to his tomb to pray to him. One town in Bavaria has recorded 4,000 favors granted through prayers to St. Leonard.
Tradition of oils
The tradition of anointing with sacred oil is very old indeed. It 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 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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