Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thoughts on the Feast of Saint Blaise

After checking two of my calendars, I found reminders that today is the feast of Saint Blaise, but I really didn't need the reminders.

For some reason I always remember the feast of St. Blaise, patron saint of throat ailments. While attending Catholic schools, Feb 3 was special because of the blessing of the throats.

On this day, after Mass, priests place two blessed candles, one touching each side of believers' throats. The priests say the blessing of St. Blaise to deliver the believers from ailments of the throat and other evils.

St. Blaise was a 4th Century Aremnian bishop and martyr known for his kindness and healing. He was sought by believers to cure medical conditions of loved ones and animals. St. Blaise is the patron saint of wild animals and throat ailments. According to tradition, a young boy had a fishbone caught in his throat and was about to die when his family brought him to St. Blaise, who cured him.

The year my husband was in Vietnam, my infant daughter and I lived with my parents, who belonged to St. Blaise parish in Maryland Heights, MO. That parish has since been renamed, but I still think of it as St. Blaise parish.

As a writer, I find stories about saints and historic characters fascinating, so I thought I'd share my thoughts about the feast of St. Blaise.

16 comments:

  1. Donna--Your post brought back memories of the bookmobile. I went through a Roman and Greek mythology phase, and then went on a Joan of Arc kick. Was it my boyish pixie haircut? (I'm not Catholic...I guess the idea of being a martyr was appealing to my pre-teen angst.)

    I was not aware that saints have such specific specialties. Thanks for the story and the educational tidbit.

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  2. Hi Sioux,
    You're welcome.
    Now that you mention it, your pixie cut is kind of Joan of Arcish.
    donna

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  3. How appropriate that I landed here, with my scratchy throat!

    Lovely post.

    Pearl

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  4. Hi Pearl,
    I hope your throat gets better.
    Thanks for stopping by.
    Donna

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  5. I bet St. Blaise is busy today answering prayers from housebound folks that have screamed their throats raw, ha, ha, Just joking. No blessings around here today as still many people trapped in their own drives...snow plowers are going 30 or more drives a day...has anyone seen in the Farmer's Alm. that Midwest is to have monster snow storm in March...sure a rumor or the snow miss read its own calendar for Feb.!

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  6. Hi Bookie (Claudia),
    The Farmer's Almanac is usually right, but in this case I hopethe prediction for March is wrong.
    Donna

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  7. Oh, I wrote about St. Blaise once for my parish newspaper. I love saint stories-you never know what you're going to find.

    Speaking of which, I hope they do the Blessing of the Throats on Sunday. I just feel better, knowing my throat's blessed!

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  8. I'm always amazed by those highly specialized saints, too. Just heard from a friend who says she has a sore throat...at least now I can offer a suggestion!

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  9. H'mmm. Makes me wonder what other saints are in charge of what other body parts.

    Pat
    www.critteralley.blogspot.com

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  10. I had never heard of the feast of St. Blaise or of the blessing of the throats. I love learning and reading about historical characters.

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  11. Hi Tammy,
    Can't hurt.

    Hi Pat,
    Seriously, I think there is.

    Hi Janet,
    It is fascinating, isn't it.

    Donna

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  12. Although I'm familiar with many of the saints, Saint Blaise is not one of them up to now. However, I'm sure going to call on him the next time I have a sore throat. It's amazing how one year in a Catholic school manages to touch a child! My third grade year must have made a big impression on me.

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  13. Hi Betty,
    Yep. It's amazing what we can remember from our childhoods.
    Donna

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  14. I was not aware of St. Blaise until today either. Thanks for the interesting info. Hope you all are plowed out soon.

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  15. Hi Sally,
    You are welcome.
    When I first read your last comment I thought you said "hope you all are plowed soon." Got a chuckle out of that.
    Take care,
    Donna

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