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Cradle Catholic with a lot of questions; such as, why am I just figuring this stuff out now?

February 4, 2011

Catholic Throat Blessing

Yesterday I just so happened to be at my daughter’s school, which is Catholic, counting pennies for a fundraiser. After about thirty minutes a large group of students came into the room where I was, single file, to have their throat blessed. Ah, yes I guess it was February 3rd after all. Basically, during a catholic throat blessing a priest says the Saint Blaise blessing while holding two consecrated candles, held open but crossed in a “V” shape on both sides of your throat. Happy Feast of Saint Blaise Day! Time to get your throat blessed.  An interesting and relatively obscure annual Catholic tradition.

It is thought that Saint Blaise was a bishop in Armenia, who was martyred for his faith in 316. Saint Blaise is attributed to a legend where he miraculously saved the life of a child that was about to die from choking to death on a fishbone. Saint Blaise is thought to intercede in cases of throat illness. Fortunately his feast day seems particularly well-timed, at least for North Americans, occurring during the height of cold and flu season.

Blessing of Saint Blaise
“Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

References: “Saint of the Day: Lives, Lessons and Feast” By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.

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