St Osmund healing oil
The St Osmund healing oil is dedicated to the great reformer and bishop of Salisbury
Osmund, a native of Normandy, accompanied William the Conqueror to England. He made Chancellor of the realm about 1070. He employed in many civil transactions and engaged as one of the Chief Commissioners for drawing up the Domesday Book. Some late sources state he created Earl of Dorset at the same time, but he did not refer to himself with that title.
Osmund became Bishop of Salisbury by authority of Gregor VII His diocese comprised the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, and Berkshire. In his Acts of English Bishops, William of Malmesbury describes medieval Salisbury as a fortress rather than a city. It placed on a high hill, surrounded by a massive wall. Peter of Blois later referred to the castle and church as “the ark of God shut up in the temple of Baal.”
Henry I’s biographer suggests the possibility that Osmund was in part responsible for Henry’s education; Henry consistently in the bishop’s company during his formative years, around 1080 to 1086.
Domesday Book is presented
In 1086 Osmund present at the Great Gemot held at Old Sarum when the Domesday Book accepted and the great landowners swore fealty to the sovereign.
Osmund died in the night of 3 December 1099, and succeeded, after the see vacant for eight years, by Roger of Salisbury. A statesman and counsellor of Henry I. Remains were buried at Old Sarum, translated to New Salisbury on 23 July 1457. They were deposited in the Lady Chapel, where his sumptuous shrine destroyed under Henry VIII. A flat slab with the simple inscription mxcix has lain in various parts of the cathedral. In 1644 it n the middle of the Lady Chapel. It now under the easternmost arch on the south side.
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 asked to pray to whomever the oil 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 important ways for us to express our faith in God’s power. Moreover, by doing so we place our trust in God.
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