BLESSING OF THE THROATS
Saint Blaise, martyr and bishop of Sebaste in Armania is believed to have been martyred in the persecution of Licinius around 316. According to various accounts he was a physician before becoming a bishop. He is venerated by the Eastern Church as well and he is associated with the healing of the throats because he was reputed to have miraculously cured a little boy who nearly died because of a fishbone in his throat.
For the blessing of the throats, candles are blessed first. The priest holds the crossed candles in front of the throat and says the following words:
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.
The priest may also decide to give the blessing to all people at once by extending his hands, without crossed candles, over people while saying the prayer of blessing.
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 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.
Blessing of the throats will be celebrated on First Friday, February 3, the Feast of St. Baise, during the 6:00AM, 12:00PM and 7:00PM Holy Masses.