February 9, 2016

Feast of St. Blaise

Last Wednesday was the feast of St. Blaise, a 4th century bishop and martyr.  We don't know a whole lot about St. Blaise other than he was from Armenia, he was a physician turned priest/bishop, and he was martyred.  There are a lot of legends about him, especially one that he encountered a boy choking on a fish bone and after saying a prayer, the bone came out and the boy lived.  Another says that when he was in prison, a local woman brought candles to his cell so he could see at night.  These two legends form the basis of the traditions that have sprung up on his feast day - the blessing of throats with candles.  On Feb. 3, the Church blesses people's throats holding two candles, crossed like a cross, under the chins while saying the following blessing:

Through the intercession of Saint Blaise  bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

On Wednesday, students came to the chapel during their theology classes where I explained the tradition of the blessing of throats and the students then came forward to have their throats blessed.

No comments:

Post a Comment