The Oil of St. Warburga

The following is an article that was published in the Travellers’ Voice Magazine in July 2017.  I did tell you the stuff I write is broad! Have a read on and discover one of the mystical religious cures from  Germany.


In our constant search for cures for ‘what ails you’ we often look to the past for herbal and home remedies rather than relying solely on what’s prescribed by the GPs; then we have others who look towards something a bit more faith based. One instance of this that comes to mind was that of the Oil of St. Walburga. I first heard of this substance a few months ago; it came up in conversation as myself and a friend were discussing the whole legalisation of cannabis issue and the affect it would have on people who need it most. My friend mentioned that somebody close to her used the Oil of St. Walburga. The person in question found some value in it as she had been living with M.E. for a number of years. If you’re not familiar with M.E., it is a complex and debilitating illness that causes chronic tiredness in which any exertion can leave the person devoid of energy for quite some time. In addition to this fatigue, those affected also complain of many other related symptoms such as fever, sore throats, painful glands, muscle weakness, headaches, joint pains, sleep disturbance, confusion, irritability and poor concentration. However, according to my friend, the individual began using the oil and is adamant that it can be effective; so, with this in mind, let’s take a deeper look into who St. Warburga is, and what is this mystical oil?

Vaubourg Walburga was born in England in 710AD. She was educated by the English Benedictines. She was the niece of St. Boniface, who at the time was on missionary work in Germany. St. Boniface sent word to England seeking the help of Christians to help convert the population of Germany and to spread the word of God. Vaubourg took this opportunity and left for Germany, she became an abbess, which is simply a woman who is the head of an Abbey of nuns. Her role there gave her the responsibility for the spiritual and material welfare of both the monks and nuns who lived within the confines of the Abbey.  Vaubourg Walburga was admired, loved and respected throughout her life. She is remembered for her deep prayer life, her charity and her courage in the face of adversity. One miracle that is attributed to her is that of the Light Miracle.

One night when she asked one of the monks to light the candles so that she could go to her room, he refused. She had to find her way alone in the darkness. When her sisters came to accompany her to supper, the hallway was lighted, not by candles, but by a divine light. It lit the dormitory brightly until time for the office of Matins. The nuns went to Vaubourg Walburga filled with joy over the miracle, and she prayed to the Lord in these words:

“Oh Lord, as a humble maid who committed my life to you since my youth, I thank you for granting this grace. You have honoured me in my unworthiness with the comfort of your light. This sign gives courage to the souls of your handmaids who are dependent on me. And you have driven out the darkness and our fear through the bright light of your mercy.”

A mysterious moisture is collected every year on St. Walburga’s relics.

In February 779 Vaubourg Walburga died and just under 100 years later legend states that she appeared to Otkar, then bishop of Eichstatt, in a dream and asked why he allowed her tomb to be “trampled upon by the dirty feet of builders” during church reconstruction. Bishop Otkar then exhumed her and her relics, which were then once again buried, in a tomb beneath the Holy Cross Church on the outskirts of the town of Eichstatt in Germany. Since then, a mysterious moisture has been collected every year on St. Walburga’s relics. This water is known as ‘Walburga’s Oil’ and is seen as a sign of her continued intercession. The oil is often collected and given to pilgrims. Many report that the oil has healing properties. Regardless of its’ medical uses, it is an interesting story, however, we still advise our readers to seek the help of their GPs and Specialists before deviating from their medical treatments. Maybe something like this can be a complementary substance to use with your prescribed medicine, maybe it’s just a placebo, you know, one of those things that make you think you are feeling better; who knows for sure? Maybe it would just take a little bit of faith?



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