Photo: Felix Carroll
Father Bob Vennetti, MIC, assistant rector at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, prepares St. Faustina holy oil for blessing and prayer.
'A Wonderful Blessing'
Since late in 2010, the Marian Fathers have found yet another way to intercede for pilgrims who visit the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Mass. — by making available St. Faustina holy oil as a blessed sacramental.
The oil prompted this letter from one of our Marian Helpers. She asks a question that others may have been asking:
Dear Fr. Joseph,
What a truly wonderful idea it is for the Marian Fathers to have made St. Faustina sacramental oil for their Marian Helpers. It surely is a blessing. You may begin to see more good work happen than anyone thought possible, because, as we all know, with God, all things are possible.
Someday, I might have the chance to tell you about the wonderful things that have happened to me since the time when I first became a Marian Helper and began corresponding with the Marians in Stockbridge. That was about 12 years ago.
For now, I am interested to know what the relic was from St. Faustina that was used to bless the oil with. Was it clothing or a bone or what? Also, I read where the oil is blessed with a relic of the True Cross. What is a relic from the True Cross? A piece of wood? I'm curious. Thank you.
— L.K., Shelby Township, Mich.
The answers come from Fr. Ken Dos Santos, MIC, Shrine rector, who says the oil is blessed with a first-class relic of St. Faustina (part of a bone) and with a relic of the True Cross. The True Cross refers to the cross to which tradition holds, Jesus was nailed. Relics are small pieces of wood taken from the cross.
In making St. Faustina holy oil, the Marians use high quality, cold-pressed olive oil compounded with a faint scent. The priest blesses the oil, prays over it, and touches the container with a first-class relic of St. Faustina and then the relic of the True Cross.
The oil is used as a sacramental. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says sacramentals are instituted "for the sanctification of certain ministries of the Church, states of life, and the use of many things helpful to man" (1668).
Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, director of the Association of Marian Helpers, says a sacramental can invoke "the power available to us as grace for our salvation. It comes from the fact that Jesus, The Divine Mercy, suffered for us, died for us, and came back from the dead for us."
The oil is available to pilgrims who visit on Eden Hill. You can also call 1-800-462-7426 to request oil. A donation of $5.25 is suggested to cover shipping and handling.