To all otolaryngologists: Happy Feast of Saint Blaise


Today is the Feast of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, patron of illnesses of the throat, among other things.  Tradition holds that while he was in prison awaiting execution, he healed a boy choking on a fish bone.  If you go to Mass today, the priest will probably offer anyone wishing it a blessing against throat and other ailments, and he will bless each one while holding a crossed pair of candles at the person’s neck.  Apparently, the reason candles are used is that yesterday was the Feast of Candlemas or the Presentation of the Lord. This commemorates when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem, and Simeon declare the Jesus “a light to reveal [God[ to the nations.” So, we bless candles on the day we celebrate when Jesus as the Light of the World, and then use those candles to bless throats the next day when we celebrate a saint to healed someone’s throat.  It may not make perfect sense, but God’s grace doesn’t have to.  I love being Catholic!

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