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Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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OIL OF SAINTS

Oily substances that are believed to flow from relics or burial places of certain saints; also the oil that burns in their shrine lamps, and water that may come from wells near their graves. These oils, used by the faithful, are said to have curative powers. Among famous oils are those of: 1. St. Walburga, abbess of Heidenheim, Bavaria, who died in 780. Her body was brought to Eichstadt, Bavaria, May 1, 870. In 893, oil was discovered flowing at intervals from her relics, which now rest at Eichstadt; 2. of St. Menas, which comes from a holy well at Mareotis in the Libyan desert near the saint's national shrine; 3. of the shrine of St. Nicholas of Myra, which is seen to exude from his relics in Bari, Italy.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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