By Michael H. Brown
Former Franciscan Brother Claims That More Than 1,000 Medals Have Exuded ‘Oil’
There are many alleged manifestations in our time, and so little time to discern them all. This is a constant theme as we try to sort through the avalanche of miraculous claims. And we try because miracles are as important today as they always have been, confirming the supernatural nature of our faith.
Do we absolutely need them? No. We need faith. But they are granted by God to confirm the nature of this struggle called life — and when they are good, when they are not imagined or conjured or a deception from the dark side, they do just that: propel us to yet greater faith and contact with the eternal.
One thing we frequently hear about are inexplicable exudations — that is, oil that reputedly flows from various objects. These reports come on a weekly basis. Mainly it’s statues, but now we have been sent medals — of the Sacred Heart, of Divine Mercy, of St. Benedict — that are also said to have exuded an oily substance.
These were mailed by Allan Weilert (above, with Pope), a former Franciscan friar and now a chiropractor from Andover, Kansas, who first encountered the phenomenon last December 15 after receiving exuding items from a friend in Nebraska. The man is both a psychotherapist and a deacon. Like many, he wants to remain anonymous for fear of ridicule. “On a private retreat five years ago, he visited one of the convents established by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton,” says Dr. Weilert. “The sisters who lived there gave him a miraculous medal that was apparently touched to a relic of Mother Seton. Upon his return home, he discovered that his shirt pocket which had held the medal was wet; the medal had oozed oil. It still exudes oil today, as do a number of sacramentals placed on his nightstand near this medal. The first items to exude oil in my home were sent to me from that friend. Other blessed articles belonging to me began to oil — some immediately — after being placed near ones already oozing this substance.”
According to Weilert, who has founded a new community dedicated to Divine Mercy and who once worked as co-director for the Healing Ministry of the Franciscan School of Evangelization in Southfield, Michigan, he began placing medals by the hundreds around the original ones he was sent and many of those have now exhibited what is best described as an oily film, along with a heavenly fragrance. “It is a colorless, non-staining, and fragrant oil which seems to accumulate over time on either one or both sides of a medal,” he asserts. “A few other items such as statues, crucifixes, and rosaries placed near these medals have also exhibited signs of oiling.”
It was Weilert’s discernment that if God could make water gush from a rock (for the Israelites), why not oil from metal? He emphasizes that the medals were blessed prior to exudation. Could it be a sign to wear medals as protection in these turbulent times? “I’ve been around a while, and I’ve never seen anything quite like this,” he says. “I bought medals to give people and I’ve personally seen a thousand-plus ooze oil. They don’t drip. They just have this film on them. Some have more than others. For example a statue in the clinic has so much oil at times that it’s hard to hold it. But it doesn’t puddle. If I put it in a dish it wouldn’t collect. And the fragrance is another variable. If someone sprayed perfume, it would fade away, but this comes and goes.”
Is this good? Is it from God? Each of us must discern in prayer, and of course use the faculties of observation. Why oil? In Weilert’s view: “I think it’s a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Oil is a healing balm, scripturally based. I think the Holy Spirit is doing this to wake us up. I anoint people with oil that comes from these objects and its a great source of consolation. I’ve given the medals even to Protestants. I tell them to put them next to a crucifix in their homes and they come back and report that it’s oozing oil. They’re amazed.”
Weilert, 44, has trained hundreds of laity in the principles of healing prayer and has held healing services around the United States and abroad. In addition, he launched Catholics United for the Poor, a non-profit fundraising organization assisting urban ministries among the poor of Cincinnati, Ohio. Allan also designed and implemented a parish-based adult spirituality program, the Spiritual Life Center, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Galveston, Texas, and has been on five pilgrimages to the Church-approved site of Betania in Venezuela.
As usual, we offer this for your prayerful discernment.
As with healers, we always urge prayer before contact with any allegedly miraculous object. What percentage exude? “They all get the film, but some get more like Benedictine medals and Miraculous Medals,” he claims. “But I have seen every sacramental I can think of ooze the ‘oil.’ It’s a very humble manifestation because it doesn’t drip. It seems like it’s oil, but it doesn’t have the properties of oil in that it doesn’t stain. It doesn’t absorb in things. We call it ‘oil’ because it’s what it seems closest to. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit’s pervasive and powerful Presence.””
From The Mailbag: Former Monk Reports ‘Oil’ Phenomena Now Involves 2,500 Items
By Michael H. Brown
A couple months ago we reported on alleged phenomena (always emphasizing the word “alleged”) claimed by a former Franciscan monk named Dr. Allan Weilert of Andover, Kansas, who says he first encountered what seem like miraculous events last December 15 after receiving exuding items from a friend who is a psychotherapist and deacon in Nebraska. Like many, the friend wants to remain anonymous for fear of ridicule, but Dr. Weilert, now a chiropractor, has decided to speak publicly, believing that healings result from the case.
“On a private retreat five years ago, he visited one of the convents established by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton,” says Dr. Weilert of his friend. “The sisters who lived there gave him a miraculous medal that was apparently touched to a relic of Mother Seton. Upon his return home, he discovered that his shirt pocket which had held the medal was wet; the medal had oozed oil. It still exudes oil today, as do a number of sacramentals placed on his nightstand near this medal. The first items to exude oil in my home were sent to me from that friend. Other blessed articles belonging to me began to oil — some immediately — after being placed near ones already oozing this substance.”
There are many alleged manifestations in our time — and so little time to discern them all. We always urge both openness and caution. This is a constant theme as we try to sort through the avalanche of miraculous claims. And we try because miracles are as important today as they always have been, confirming the supernatural nature of our faith. With that in mind, we submit the following update, sent to us from Arkansas, for your prayerful discernment:
“As reported by Spirit Daily, numerous religious articles in the home of Dr. Allan Weilert of Augusta, Kansas have been exuding an oily substance. This unusual phenomenon stems from a psychotherapist deacon friend from Nebraska who chooses to remain anonymous. He hopes to be able to join in the foundation of the Servants of Divine Mercy, a new men’s community. One miraculous medal given to Weilert’s friend by the Sisters of Charity of Emmitsburg began to ooze oil five years ago and since then has spread to various sacramentals belonging to Weilert. At latest count, more than 2,500 medals, dozens of rosaries, ten crucifixes, nine statues, three icons, and dozens of prayer cards and devotional badges have oozed oil in his home and chiropractic clinic (see photos).
“As a result of the Spirit Daily article, Dr. Weilert has mailed hundreds of oil-oozing miraculous medals to people requesting them from around the world. Many who have received these special medals claim evidence of a multiplication of oil onto their own sacramentals when placed near an oozing medal. These blessed articles also have acquired an oily film on their surface that is usually difficult to see, but can be felt. Others have remarked that their hands have become very oily after touching an oozing religious article.
“In addition, some people have relayed accounts of a distinctive, rose-like fragrance emitting from this heavenly oil suddenly filling the room, a car, or wherever they may be. Reminiscent of the mystical perfume surrounding St. Padre Pio or the scent of roses so often sent by St. Therese of the Child Jesus or experienced during an apparition of Our Lady, the fragrance which often comes from the oozing medals often draws people to deeper prayer and a striking awareness of the Lord’s presence. The sometimes delicate, sometimes over-powering sweet aroma evokes reverence and peace. ‘It smells like an old church in here, like incense,’ a man exclaimed upon entering a room with many oozing sacramentals.
“An interesting feature of the oiling is that not everyone can perceive the oil on the affected sacramentals. Sometimes, faithful Christians, many of whom profess the Catholic faith, don’t seem to perceive any oily substance at all on these oozing objects, while others can readily feel and often smell the fragrance of the oil on the holy objects in question. Other people have written that although they felt the medals were dry upon their arrival, hours or even days later an abundance of oil was discovered not only on them, but on other nearby rosaries, medals, statues, etc… There seems to be an element of childlike faith and trust involved in some cases, along with even a sort of charism to feel this oil-like film and to smell its fragrance.
“Testimonies of healings associated with these oozing medals are already coming in. Calls and e-mail have proclaimed healings of cancer, depression, and severe, chronic post-operative knee pain when using the oil-oozing miraculous medals, while enlisting the powerful intercession of Our Lady. A few individuals have even been moved to return to the Sacraments as a result of receiving these medals. Remarkable outpourings of child-like joy have also been linked to the reception of these medals. Calls have also been received from men who wish to discern a possible vocation to the Servants of Divine Mercy. In short, much good fruit seems to be springing from this phenomena of oozing oil.
“Recently, a prayer card of the Blessed Virgin distributed to Medjugorje pilgrims by Fr. Jozo in 2002 was found to have oozed spots of oil resembling decades of the Rosary. Dr. Weilert attests, “No oil of any kind has ever been near this prayer card or any of these oil-oozing sacramentals. It just coats the medal or statue all at once, and varies from day to day in the amount of moisture that can be felt. This is definitely a supernatural event! Praise the Lord!”
[As usual, we urge caution, and no involvement without first prayer. At the same time, we would not want to prevent possible graces from flowing, especially if healings may be involved. Those who have discerned can reach Dr. Weilert by clicking here or writing him at P.O. Box 877, Andover, Kansas 67002
Two Modern Mysteries: Why Do Objects Exude Oil And Why Are They Multiplying?
By Michael H. Brown
Two weeks ago I received a call from a reporter who wanted to know about a Kansas man named Allan Weilert — former monk — who claims that an oily substance began to appear on a wooden crucifix late last year (above). “Since then,” said the later newspaper account, “more than 10,000 of his religious items — crucifixes, rosaries, sacred medals, relics, prayer cards, and statues — have exuded the same oil.” In some cases, pointed out The Wichita Eagle, the oil has emitted a rose-like fragrance.
I bring this up because it’s sort of a new phenomenon — not the fact that objects exude oil (or tears or blood), but that there are now cases in which the original “miracle” is multiplying. First one object will exude, then another — and so on, in some cases spreading to dozens or even hundreds of other objects set in the vicinity of the original or in the home of a person who in some way was attached to the main exudation.
It is nearly like it is contagious, and while there doubtless have been cases that reach back into history, I know of nothing like what we are seeing now and from everything I can tell, a single exudation is historically rare, not to mention serial events attached to each other. In Scripture, we know of course about the loaves, and also that it says (in Joel) that wonders would be multiplied in the latter or at least special times.
I first heard of the contagious aspect when speaking with a priest, Father James Bruse of Virginia, who was the center of a similar phenomenon about ten years ago. Statues brought into his presence or the presence of a statue that had previously exuded began to similarly flow with an inexplicable substance. More recently, we reported on a woman, Olivia Smith of Petrlia, Pennsylvania, who reports more than 200 rosaries that have flowed with an oily substance.
So there is this aspect of the phenomenon, and then we come to the substance itself: oil. Usually, when analyzed in legitimate cases, it’s olive oil — as in olden times. Why oil? We know that historically oil was a healing balm and a cosmetic as well as a healthy staple in food. In biblical times it was used for anointing — and is used as such to this day.
“Olive oil is burned for lamp light (Matthew 25:1-9), babies are washed with it, squeaky hinges are lubricated with it, cosmetics are based on it, diamonds polished with it, kings anointed with it,” notes one researcher, Richard Nickels. “Olive oil preserves fish, cheese, and wine for years. Soap made from olive oil makes you feel cleaner than chemically-made soap. As wine makes the heart glad, and bread strengthens the heart, so does oil make the face to shine, Psalm 104:15. Arabs and east Indians use olive oil as a hair tonic (see Luke 7:46). Many Mediterranean peoples put olive oil on their bread (see Exodus 29:23; Leviticus 8:26). Although olive oil has a place in our diet, “he that loveth [overmuch] wine and oil shall not be rich,” Proverbs 21:17. Oil is not to be wasted: “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up,” [Proverbs 21:20].
As Nickels further points out, oil is associated with joy, and the Messiah, Psalm 45:7, Hebrews 1:9 and also with the joy of the Feasts of the Lord. The first mention of the olive in the Bible is the olive leaf that the dove returned to Noah, signifying peace and restoration from the devastating flood, Genesis 8:11. Israelites were to bring pure beaten olive oil for the eternal light in the tabernacle, Exodus 27:20-21; Leviticus 24:2. Olive oil was used in the holy anointing oil to consecrate the priests, and instruments of the sanctuary, Exodus 28:41, 30:22-33. God said that this sacred olive oil “shall be an holy anointing oil unto Me throughout your generations.”
Interestingly, science has discovered some of the astounding properties of olive oil. It is loaded with vitamin E, and has no cholesterol. Mediterranean peoples, in part because they liberally use olive oil, have the lowest rate of heart disease among Western nations. Cancer, arthritis, and diabetes are additional ailments that olive oil is said to lessen or even prevent.
We get the point.
Holy oil is used in baptisms. In the sanctuaries of many churches are oil of the sick, which is used in healing, oil of catechumens, which is used at baptism, and sacred chrism. Sacred chrism is the oil used to bless new churches and sacramental stones in new altars. It is the oil of consecration used on new ritual tools, such as chalice, paten, and tabernacles. Actually, it often includes balsam and is blessed by a bishop or a priest designated by the Holy See.
What might this all mean in relation to the exuding statues?
Well, there are cases where such oil has been associated with miraculous healings. I have some here on my desk from weeping icons in New York. There is also the healing kind used by charismatic priests. I have that too. There is the aspect of exorcism: during baptism, a rite of deliverance is intoned at the same time that the oil is used, signifying that what exudes from the statues may be powerful against the enemy. And then there is the general tenor of holiness as experienced with sacred chrism: a new anointing as a sign from Heaven.
Perhaps this is enough. Do we not now know why God might spread His balm? Oil. Multiplication. All those things reported in the Bible still occur. We just live at a time when they are often ignored.