Wednesday, February 3, 2010

St. Blaise (3rd century AD to c.316)

When I was a little girl not more than 6 years old, my grandmother, Isabel, told me we'd go for a walk to do something special that day. It was winter, so she bundled me up and held my hand as we walked down the street.
It wasn't the usual route we took to have lunch and then go to the store to pick out paper dolls or a coloring book. Today, we were going to St. Lawrence Church in Centredale.
Along the way, my grandmother told me the persistent cough I had would finally go away because the priest was going to bless my throat. I wasn't afraid. It sounded like a folk remedy to me.
We went to Mass and while I sat in the basement of the old, dark church it was then that I learned about St. Blaise. Legend has it that a boy had a fish bone stuck in this throat and was about to die. St. Blaise saved him and is therefore the protector of throats.
He was born in the 3rd century AD in Armenia and is also the patron saint of wild beasts.
He was martyred (c. 316) by being beaten, torn with hooks, and then beheaded. Canonized: Precongregation.
When the time came to have my throat blessed, I remember walking up to the altar with my grandmother and the priest crossing two unlit candles near my throat. He said a prayer and almost instantly my cough went away. Later, when we went back into the February cold, my grandmother gave me a kiss and held my hand. And we didn't go back to the house. Instead, we walked into town like we did almost every Saturday and this time it was for dinner and paper dolls.
The Prayer: "St. Blaise prayer for us that we may not suffer from illnesses of the throat and prayer that all who are suffering be healed by God's love. Amen"


THE said...

Hey, I remember something about crossed candles at the throat. I must have gone through this ritual too, though I don't remember it as well as you do. Nice work!

Marilyn said...

Yes. St. Blaise comes in handy during the winter months when many people have coughs & colds. February is the perfect time for his feast day. Glad you enjoyed the blog entry.