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February 3rd - St. Blaise (And the Blessing of Throats)

Have you ever wondered what is behind the practice of the blessing of throats? The practice goes back many centuries to the Patron Saint of Throats, St. Blaise.

St. Blaise was a Bishop during the 4th century when the Church was highly persecuted within the Roman Empire. Of course, those who know their Church history realize that this did not deter Christians from practicing their faith. Bishop Blaise was one of those early Church martyrs who gave his last breath claiming Jesus as the Christ.

But today, St. Blaise is best known as the Patron Saint of the throat. There isn't much known about the story, but the story is rather fascinating and inspirational. Blaise was known as a very holy and spiritual man to his people. So when one boy began to choke on a fish bone, his mother did the first thing she thought of at the time, which was to bring him to this holy man. St. Blaise, carrying the crossed candles (seen in the picture) blessed the child and the bone immediately dislodged. From that point on, St. Blaise was known to be a holy man with the gift of healing.

His legend goes back centuries and the Church has practiced the blessing of throats from that point. Priests throughout the centuries have invoked the intercession of St. Blaise to bless the throats of the faithful. Below is a little video we made for St. Francis Xavier parish to demonstrate the blessing.