Saint Blaise: Patron saint of throat illnesses

Candle holder used for Blessing of Throats on the feast of St. Blaise

February 3 marks the Feast Day of St. Blaise.  It is a day that, as a Catholic, I would go to church and get my throat blessed.  Two blessed, unlit candles would be placed on each side of my neck, crossed at the bottom, and a prayer would be said by the priest.  According to newadvent.org, the blessing is:

“May God at the intercession of St. Blasius preserve you from throat troubles and every other evil.”

St. Blaise was an Armenian bishop during the 4th Century.  Not much is known about his life except that he was a physician before being bishop and purportedly performed a miracle by curing a boy on the brink of death who had a fishbone stuck in his throat.  He is now the Patron Saint of Throat Illnesses and is prayed to for all types of throat and neck ailments.

I do not know if most churches still give a yearly blessing of the throat in honor of St. Blaise, only that my local Catholic church does not.

A Prayer to St. Blaise from catholic.org:

Saint Blaise, pray for us that we may not suffer from illnesses of the throat and pray that all who are suffering be healed by God’s love.  Amen.

A Novena to St. Blaise:

Go to 2heartsnetwork.org for a novena to St. Blaise, which is a 9-day prayer usually to a specific saint for special intentions and/or blessings.

February 2, 2013

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    • It seems so normal to me because I grew up looking forward to St. Blaise every year so I could get my throat blessed. As far as other Catholic body parts, the only one I can think of is when the priests wash parishioners’ feet on Holy Thursday.

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