Thursday, February 3rd is the Feast of St. Blaise. St. Blaise was a 4th century martyr and Bishop of Armenia and the patron of those who suffer from diseases of the throat. The blessing of St. Blaise is a sign of our faith in God’s protection and love for us and for the sick. We will be offering the blessing of the throats in place of the final blessing next weekend.
Feast of St. Blaise – In the Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum it states:
“Suffering and illness have always been among the greatest problems that trouble the human spirit. Christians feel and experience pain as do all other people; yet their faith helps them to grasp more deeply the mystery of suffering and to bear their pain with greater courage. . . . Part of the plan laid out by God’s providence is that we should fight strenuously against all sickness and carefully seek the blessings of good health, so that we may fulfill our role in human society and in the Church.” (1622)
“In the United States the annual blessing of throats is a traditional sign of the struggle against illness in the life of the Christian. This blessing is ordinarily given during Mass or a celebration of the word of God on February 3, the memorial of Saint Blaise.” (1624)
“Saint Blaise was the bishop of Sebaste in Armenia during the fourth century. Very little is known about his life. According to various accounts he was a physician before becoming a bishop. His cult spread throughout the entire Church in the Middle Ages because he was reputed to have miraculously cured a little boy who nearly died because of a fishbone in his throat. From the eighth century he has been invoked on behalf of the sick, especially those afflicted with illnesses of the throat.” (1625).
“The blessing may be given by touching the throat of each person with two candles blessed on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord (February 2) and which have been joined together in the form of a cross.” (1627)