Mass & Novena Schedule
Mon. Mass/Novena Devotions
Tuesday – Friday
Saint Ann's Oil
One of the most enduring symbols that Novena clients have been using for years is Saint Ann's Oil.The practice of anointing people and objects with oil is very ancient and shared by people of different cultures and religions. Anointing with oil has also had an important religious significance and use, especially as an act of consecration. Anointing also marked certain people for sacred ministry.
For Christians we take the root of our understanding of being anointed with oil from the olive tree from the near east, most especially in Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives.
There are many references to the use of the oil from the olive tree. It was used for food, fuel and medicinal purposes.
To be anointed with oil was seen as sacred as we can see in the following passages from Sacred Scripture:
Exodus 29:7Then take the anointing oil and anoint him with it, pouring it on his head.
1 Samuel, 10: Then, from a flask he had with him, Samuel poured oil on Saul's head.
Psalm 23:5You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Psalm 45:8God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellow kings.
2 Kings 9:3 From the flask you have, pour oil on his head, and say, 'Thus says the LORD: I anoint you king over Israel.' Then open the door and flee without delay."
Isaiah 61:3 To give them oil of gladness in place of mourning
Hebrews 1:9You loved justice and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions";
James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? 6He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord.
The early church anointed the sick with oil to give them physical and spiritual strength. The letter of James says that prayers and the anointing of the sick with oil "will save the sick". Even today the Church uses oil on important occasions such as baptism with the oil of catechumens and sacred chrism; the sacrament of Confirmation and Holy Orders also use sacred chrism, and in the anointing of the sick the oil of the sick is used.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, section #'s 1293-1296, which deals with the sacrament of Confirmation says the following about anointing with oil:
The Church also blesses oil in honor of certain saints such as Saint Ann. We can use Saint Ann's oil in the same way that religious people have used oil for centuries.
To anoint a person with Saint Ann's oil is a sign that God sees our needs and will answer the prayers we request in the name of his Son Jesus.
Novena clients of St. Ann have been using St. Ann's oil for years. For many people they apply it to a wound, or bless a person on the forehead with it as a sign God's blessing for the person. St. Ann's Oil also is a sign of our solidarity, a bond that unites us and the sufferings of our brothers and sisters with the sufferings of Christ who anoints us with the oil of gladness, the oil of hope in the one who suffered, died and rose from the dead and seals us with the gift of his Holy Spirit.
St. Ann's Oil is available in the Shrine Gift Shop.
|St. Ann's Monastery and Shrine Basilica
1233 St. Ann Street · Scranton, PA 18504 · Phone: (570) 347-5691