Sts Faith, Hope and Charity healing oil
The Sts Faith, Hope and Charity healing oil is dedicated to the 2nd century martyrs.
Saints Faith, Hope and Charity are a group of Christian martyred saints, venerated together with their mother, Sophia.
Earlier editions of the Roman Martyrology commemorated Saints Faith, Hope and Charity on 1 August. Their mother Sophia commemorated on 30 September. Their feast day of August 1 was not entered in the General Roman Calendar. They have since been removed from the Roman Martyrology.
References of the time of Gregory the Great suggest two groups of martyrs. Both were mother and daughters. One was buried on the Aurelian Way and the other on the Via Appia. According to the Passio, Sophia was a widow of Milan. She gave away her possessions and moved to Rome with her daughters. Her daughters were martyred before her and she buried them at Via Appia. She died a natural death three days later while praying at the grave of her daughters.
Their tomb in a crypt beneath the church afterwards erected to Saint Pancratius was long a place of resort for pilgrims.
The veneration of the three saints named for the three theological virtues probably arose in the 6th century. The veneration of Sophia of Milan became indistinguishable from that of Sophia of Rome in the medieval period. Relics either of her or of Sophia of Rome were transferred to the women’s convent at Eschau. The cult spread to Germany. She is the patron saint of widows. A 14th-century fresco of the saints is in St. Agnes chapel in Cologne Cathedral.
The extent and antiquity of their cult and the universality with which their names are found render the fact of their existence and martyrdom unquestionable.
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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