Blessed Oil of St Genesius
Praying for those involved in cinema and theatre
The Fraternity offers to the devotees of St Genesius oil which has been blessed in honour of the martyr.
Oil has been used in the Church’s liturgy and sacraments right from the beginning. In the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination and Anointing of the Sick, Oil which has been specially consecrated by the Bishop is used to anoint. There are three Oils used in these Sacraments: the Oil of Catechumens in Baptism, the Oil of the Sick for Anointing of the Sick, and Sacred Chrism for Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination. These Holy Oils, however, differ from those blessed for use in popular piety and should not be confused.
The blessed oils of popular devotion, the Blessed Oil of St Genesius, for example, are sacramentals in the same way as Holy Water or Blessed Salt. The tradition of blessing oil in honour of certain saints emerged from the practice of lighting oil lamps at the tombs of the martyrs and saints. These lamps were maintained in honour of the saint and large sums of money were often donated as votive offerings to keep them burning. Because the stocks of oil purchased or donated often exceeded that actually needed, a practice developed by which the oil was blessed and distributed to pilgrims or sent to the sick who were unable to come in person to the shrine. Sometimes this oil would have been placed in the lamps at the tomb for a period of time before distribution. Over the centuries pious use of this oil coupled with lively faith led to many healings, and so the practice developed. Many shrines continue the practice today notably the Shrine of the Holy House of Loreto in Italy and the Shrine of Our Lady of Laus in south-eastern France.
The blessing of oil in honour of St Genesius continues this practice and it is offered to those who are invoking the saint for particular favours. It must be stressed that this is not miracle oil: it is ordinary olive oil over which a prayer of blessing has been said. To use this oil is to make a symbolic act in which we call on St Genesius to intercede for our petitions and ask the Lord to grant healing to the sick.
The Oil of St Genesius is available from the Fraternity and if you would like to obtain some, please contact us. Because the oil is blessed it cannot be sold and so we make no charge; however, a donation to help cover costs and post and packaging would be appreciated.