The woman pointed the little container in my face and said five words, “Bless am for me Fada.” I took the plastic container from her and looked at it closely. It had an inscription, “Back to Sender Oil.”
“No Mama”, I said. I nor dey bless this type of oil,” I added, giving the container back at her.
She hesitated. “Why?” Her eyes opened up in genuine amazement. “You nor be Fada? Oda Fadas dey bless am for me before nah.”
“Mama, I nor know why oda fadas bless am for you. But I know say nor be Catholic Church dey do dis back to sender oil. Na business people and occultic people dey do these things o. I nor know where una for dey see am buy.”
“Haba Fada. Na wao. Nor be for una sacramental store dey sellam gimme?”
I had no answer for that. I simply kept my smile in place, slightly embarrassed, wondering why Stella still sold back to sender oil after I had repeatedly told her not to.
The woman starred at me for a while, then she put the oil in her handbag. “Okay, bless dis one then.” She handed me another bottle.
I took it from her. This one was clearly bigger than the other. It had the picture of St Michael the Archangel on it with the inscription “Angel Michael Perfume.” I shook my head as I returned the bottle back to her.
“You nor go bless dis one too? Nor be Fada like you dey turn this one and olive oil for inside holy water? Dat water na miracle water one time. People dey rush am.”
“Mama, dis perfume nor be Catholic perfume,” I explained.
“Even if.” The elderly woman said with passion. “E dey work nah. We dey use dem, dem dey work. Why your own different?”
I was running out of patience. “Mama, if you wan use am as normal perfume wey dem take dey wear cloth, no wahala. But this one wey you dey talk so? Na lie.” It was obvious she needed a whole lot of convincing. I took a deep breath. “Mama, see ehn, na money and devil dey work here. Many people wey dey sell these things just dey do am because people dey use dem like jazz. So the thing dey move, e dey sell.”
“Which one be jazz band inside?”
I laughed out loud. “Nor be Jazz band Mama. Na Juju. The way our people dey tie otumokpo for hand or for neck and dat kind tin. Mama, the only oils wey we dey bless for dis our Catholic Church na oil from olive plant. That one na apart from the three major oils wey Bishop dey bless for Chrism Mass. If you remove Chrism oil, wey dem dey use for baptism, confirmation and ordination, you remove, oil of the sick, wey we dey use for anointing of the sick, then you come remove oil of catechumen, wey we dey use for baptism, the only oda oils we fit use na olive oil wey Fada bless. You see those ones wey Bishop bless, na sacraments we dey use dem for. Olive oil na sacramental, because the prayer make am fit heal and protect us from evil. Nor be Catholic Church give us back to sender and Angel Michael Perfume Mama.”
The elderly woman shook her head slowly. “Na wao. I been nor know nah. Why una nor dey explain am laidis give we?”
“Sorry Mama. Many of us dey at fault here.
“No wahala Fada.” She took the perfume from me and dropped it in her handbag. “Make I go collect my money back nau.” After a few paces, she turned and said over her shoulder, “Fada abeg, make una tell that store woman make she nor dey sell jazz band oil for inside we Catholic Church.”
“Yes mama.” I said. “We go tell her again.”
We’ve allowed certain spiritualists to corrupt our Catholic values. Till date, I’m not aware of any Catholic Diocese, Congregation, Monastery, or Convent that produces Back to Sender Oils and Angel Michael Perfumes (correct me if I’m wrong). The very theology behind “back to sender oil” is anti Christian.
Do your own research. Go on Google and search for these oils. The results will stun you. There’s nothing Christian about Back to Sender Oils and Angel Michael Perfumes. These oils appear in the regular online stores of commercial vendors, as well as satanic sites, and in the pages of occultic rituals.
What are they meant to do? Kill one’s enemies? Protect one from evil manipulations? Are they outward signs of inward graces? Absolutely not! They were certainly not ordained by Christ or by the Church, so they do not have any sacramental value.
Hence, if you’re Catholic and you’ve buried yourself deep in the tradition of “Back to Sender Oils” and “Angel Michael Perfumes”, it’s time to break those anti-Catholic habits.
Many years ago, I worked with a certain priest who would say prayers over olive oil, back to sender oil, Angel Michael perfume, and water, and mix them into a certain kind of SUPER HOLY CONCOCTION. The demand for this concoction was so high that all other priests who blessed water in the right way were regarded as powerless.
If you’re in a Parish where your priest does this, politely walk up to them and tell them to stop. It is so wrong.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Liturgical oils are blessed by the Bishop during Chrism Mass each year. They are:
- Sacred Chrism – which is a mixture of oil of olives and balsam, consecrated by a Bishop in a special manner and used in the administration of certain sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders) and in the performance of certain ecclesiastical functions (cf. Newadvent.org).
- Oil of the Sick: “The oil of the sick, which is pure olive oil, is used for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. While ideally celebrated with the community during the Mass for the anointing of the sick, this sacrament can be administered any time and in any place. The priest lays hands on the sick or elderly person, says special prayers and anoints the person by placing oil in the form of a cross on the forehead and hands (cf Simplycatholic.com).
- Oil of Catechumens: “Adults and infants prior to baptism are anointed with the oil of the catechumens, which is also pure olive oil. For adults, this pre-baptismal anointing often takes place during a special initiation ceremony when the person begins to prepare for the Sacrament of Baptism” (cf Simplycatholic.com).
Finally, there are Catholic rites for the blessing of olive oils by the priest. These oils, unlike the three above, cannot be used for the celebration of any sacraments, but are used sacramentally to invoke God’s healing and protection.
© Oselumhense Anetor.
Image credit @ Olist.ng