St Regina healing oil
St Regina (3rd century) was a virgin martyr and saint of the Catholic Church. Regina was born in Autun, France, to a pagan named Clement. Her mother died at her birth and her father repudiated her. She then went to live with a Christian nurse who baptized her. Regina helped out by tending the sheep. She communed with God in prayer and meditated on the lives of the saints. Regina was betrothed to the proconsul Olybrius, but refused to renounce her faith to marry him. She was then tortured and was beheaded at Alesia in the diocese of Autun, called Alise-Sainte-Reine after her.
Her martyrdom is considered to have occurred either during the persecution of Decius, in 251, or under Maximian in 286.
Honored in many Martyrologies, Regina’s feast is celebrated on 7 September or in the Archdiocese of Paderborn on 20 June. In the past, a procession was held in her honor in the town of Dijon. However, her relics were transferred to Flavigny Abbey in 827. The history of the translation of Regina was the subject of a 9th-century account.
There are many places in France named Sainte-Reine after her.
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.
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