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The significance of the oil
Among the different properties of the oil there is that of soothing traumas and treating sores and burns. For this reason, oil has been used as a medicine since antiquity. Jesus himself refers to it in the parable of the “good Samaritan” who pours oil on the wounds of the hijacker attacked by the robbers (Lk 10,34). Even the Apostles “anointed many sick people with oil and healed them” (Mk 6:13). It is a very expressive symbol of the action that divine grace does in the believing person: as oil impregnates itself and soothes the sick part, so grace impregnates itself and sanctifies the sinful man. Jesus wanted this meaningful gesture to become a sacrament: the Unction of the Sick (Gc 5,14).
Sacramental unity and devotional unions
Since antiquity, beside the Sacrament of the Unction of the Sick, instituted by Jesus and conferred on priests, Christians have practiced on the sick other unions with blessed oil. This custom is a “sacramental”, that is, a gesture combined with prayer, which imitates the sacraments, symbolizes and obtains particularly spiritual effects, sanctifying the various circumstances of life.
The Infant Jesus Oil
Thus, among the faithful, the use of the blessed oil of the Infant Jesus has been widely used in the Sanctuary of Arenzano since its foundation (1904-1908). It is olive oil, blessed in the solemn celebration of the 25th of each month; it is also called “lamp oil” because a part of this oil nourishes the flame that burns incessantly in front of the image of the Infant Jesus, a sign of uninterrupted prayer that from so many parts of the world ascends to the Little King in favor of the needy and of sufferers in body and spirit.
The unction in private
Outside this solemn circumstance, the faithful themselves can do the anointing privately. Just a drop, shaped like a cross on the forehead or on the sick side, associated with the recital of our Father, or the Crown of the Infant Jesus, or another prayer to the Savior for relief, comfort, and health. Anointing can be repeated for several days, such as triduum or novena. The oil is distributed in small glass vials, and is also shipped worldwide to those who ask for it.
Provisions and fruits
This is not a magic or superstitious practice; it is indeed a trusting trust in the free goodness of the Lord, as did the sick of the Gospel (Mk 1,41; 3,10; 6,56). The first grace, bringing peace and good for oneself and for others, is the serene endurance and the offering of one’s own sufferings, in union with those of Christ, in repairing their sins and for the salvation of men. At this first and most necessary benefit, sometimes God associates the grace of physical healing, attested by so many devotees who have received it, sometimes humanly inexplicable.