February 3, Feast of St Blaise (Blessing of Throats)

candles for blessing of throats

Wednesday February 3, 2016 is the Feast of St Blaise.

The blessing of throats will take place on Wednesday, 3 February at 6.30pm in St Mary’s Church, Cranny, at 7.15pm in St Benedict’s Church, Coolmeen and after 8pm Mass in St Michael’s Church, Kildysart.

Using two crossed, blessed, unlit candles the minister touches the throat of each person using the following prayer of blessing:

Through the intercession of St Blaise, Bishop and Martyr,

may the Lord preserve you from aliments of the throat and every other illness.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Very few facts are known about Saint Blaise. It is believed that he was a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred under the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century.

The legend of his life that sprang up in the eighth century tell us that he was born in to a rich and noble family who raised him as a Christian. After becoming a bishop, a new persecution of Christians began. He received a message from God to go into the hills to escape persecution. Men hunting in the mountains discovered a cave surrounded by wild animals who were sick. Among them Blaise walked unafraid, curing them of their illnesses. Recognizing Blaise as a bishop, they captured him to take him back for trial. On the way back, he talked a wolf into releasing a pig that belonged to a poor woman. When Blaise was sentenced to be starved to death, the woman, in gratitude, sneaked into the prison with food and candles. Finally Blaise was killed by the governor.

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