Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Getting our Throats Blessed in Honor of Saint Blaise's Feast Day: February 3


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Saint Blaise's feast day is celebrated on February 3rd.   In the morning I set up our St. Blaise peg doll and we read about St. Blaise during our Couch Catechism time from Saints for Young Readers for Every Day, Vol. 1.  The St. Blaise prayer card was given to my 3 year old during her Good Shepherd class that she takes at our parish.



St. Blaise lived in the 4th century and it's a tradition to have your throat blessed on his feast day, but why?

When Blaise was sent to prison to be beheaded because he was a persecuted Christian, a poor mother rushed up to him and begged him to save her child who was chocking to death on a fishbone.  The saint said a prayer quietly and blessed the child and the child's life was spared through this miracle.  So on St. Blaise's feast day throats are blessed by the priest as he crosses two candles because he is the patron of those with throat diseases.

We aren't able to get to Mass every year for this special feast day to have our throats blessed to ask God and St. Blaise to protect us from all sicknesses of the throat, but this year we were able to attend morning Mass.   I was able to snap a photo of our priest blessing the altar server with the two candles before each parishioner lined up to do the same.   While the candles are rested near the throat the priest says: 

"Through the intercession of Blessed Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, may you be delivered from all illnesses of the throat and any other ailments. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."


The Church is decorated with red linens and the priest wears red vestments because St. Blaise was a martyr for the faith.  His death was gruesome to say the least. From Franciscan Media: Agricolaus, governor of Cappadocia, tried to persuade Blaise to sacrifice to pagan idols. The first time Blaise refused, he was beaten. The next time he was suspended from a tree and his flesh torn with iron combs or rakes that are used to comb wool (and why he is the patron of not only those with throat ailments, but also English wool combers.)  Finally, he was beheaded. 

St. Blaise, pray for us! 

O glorious St. Blaise, who by your martyrdom left to the Church a precious witness to the Faith, obtain for us the grace to preserve within ourselves this divine gift, and to defend — without concern for human respect — both by word and example, the truth of that same Faith, which is so wickedly attacked and slandered in these our times. You miraculously restored a little child who was at the point of death because of an affliction of the throat.
Grant us your mighty protection in similar misfortunes. And, above all, obtain for us the grace of Christian mortification, together with faithful observance of the precepts of the Church, which keep us from offending almighty God. Amen. 



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