Oil for Our Lamps
The other day, a dear and generous friend of the Cenacle, knowing that oil lamps burn in the Oratory before the Blessed Sacrament and before the icon of the Holy Face of Jesus and that of Our Mother Perpetual Help, arrived with a case of extra virgin olive oil! What a magnificent gift! Heartfelt thanks!
Apart from the Holy Oils (Sacred Chrism, Oil of the Sick, and Oil of Catechumens) sanctified by the Bishop at the Mass of Chrism in Holy Week, the Church, in the Roman Ritual, provides for the blessing of ordinary olive oil as a sacramental. This oil may be burned before the Blessed Sacrament or before sacred images and then used by the faithful in the same way as they would use any other blessed sacramental. Such devotional anointings accompanied by prayer are not to be confused with the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, any more than one would confuse the use of Holy Water with the water of Baptism.
Devout Use of Blessed Oil
The Holy Man of Tours, Monsieur Dupont, used to anoint visitors to the oratory in his home with oil taken from the lamp that burned perpetually before his image of the Holy Face. Blessed -- and soon to be Saint -- Brother André Bessette of Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montréal used to recommend the devout use of oil taken from the lamp that burned before his statue of Saint Joseph. In Rome, to this day, one can obtain oil blessed in honour of the Santo Bambino Gesù at the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli.
The rite for blessing of oil (found in Father Weller's incomparable edition of the Roman Ritual) describes the benefits sought by the faithful in making use of this ancient sacramental of the Church.
BLESSING OF OIL
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
God's creature, oil, I cast out the demon from you by God the
Father + almighty, who made heaven and earth and sea, and all
that they contain. Let the adversary's power, the devil's
legions, and all Satan's attacks and machinations be dispelled
and driven afar from this creature, oil. Let it bring health in
body and mind to all who use it, in the name of God + the Father
almighty, and of our Lord Jesus + Christ, His Son, and of the
Holy Spirit, the Advocate, as well as in the love of the same
Jesus Christ our Lord, who is coming to judge both the living and
the dead and the world by fire.
P: O Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry come unto you.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: And with your spirit.
Let us pray.
Lord God almighty, before whom the hosts of angels stand in awe,
and whose heavenly service we acknowledge; may it please you to
regard favorably and to bless + and hallow + this creature, oil,
which by your power has been pressed from the juice of olives.
You have ordained it for anointing the sick, so that, when they
are made well, they may give thanks to you, the living and true
God. Grant, we pray, that those who will use this oil, which we
are blessing + in your name, may be delivered from all suffering,
all infirmity, and all wiles of the enemy. Let it be a means of
averting any kind of adversity from man, made in your image and
redeemed by the precious blood of your Son, so that he may never
again suffer the sting of the ancient serpent; through Christ our
It is sprinkled with holy water.