Unique Gifts | St Ursicinus on Prayer Cloth (Patron for Stiff Neck)
St Ursicinus on prayer cloth is in honour of St Ursicinus the Irish missionary and hermit in the Jura region.
A vita of his is preserved in a redaction of the 11th century. According to this account, he was a disciple of St Columbanus at Luxeuil. He followed his master when he was banished from Burgundy in 610, but then retired as a hermit in the Doubles valley. Oil dedicated to St Ursicinus is attested since the 7th century. In Grandval, a church was dedicated to Ursicinus in 675. By the 11th century, he was part of the local canon of saints of the Besancon diocese. His feast day is on 20 December. Ursicinus’ supposed sarcophagus is preserved in St Ursanne in what is now the canton of Jura in Switzerland.
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.