St. Blaise Blessing of Throats

February 3

On the Sunday after Candlemas after sung mass and high mass, a priest will be available in the Blessed Virgin Mary Chapel for the St. Blaise Blessing of Throats using two blessed candles from Candlemas.

Blaise was a physician and bishop of historic Armenia (now a part of modern day Turkey), and he was martyred for the faith and beheaded. The East observes his feast on February 11, and the West observes his feast on February 3, the day after Candlemas. Tradition maintains that while he was being taken into custody, a mother came to him pleading for her son who was choking. Bishop Blaise prayed for the child, and the child was healed. As a result, it became a tradition to invoke Blaise's blessing for aid with all afflictions of the throat.

As for the two candles used in the blessing, this comes from another legend. A poor woman's pig was captured by a wolf. Again Blaise interceded for the woman, and the wolf released the pig to her unharmed. In thanksgiving the woman brought two fine wax candles to Blaise while he was imprisoned in order to brighten his cell.

Regardless of the origins of this practice, a blessing of the throat from various afflictions is a good thing.