St. Andrew will have the traditional blessing of the throats on Saturday, February 3rd after the 4 PM Vigil Mass. All are welcome.
About St. Blaise
St. Blaise is a bishop and martyr who lived in the fourth century in Turkey and Armenia. For a time, Blaise lived in a cave to escape persecution. On his feast the church recalls a miracle cure associated with him and celebrates the blessing of the throats. Blaise apparently saved the life of a boy who was choking on a fish bone. The saint said that anyone who lit a candle in his memory would be free of infection, thus candles are used in the traditional throat blessing. He is listed among the Fourteen Holy Helpers, saints revered as healers. He is the patron saint of throat illnesses, animals, wool combers, and wool trading.
Blessing of the Throat
On February 3, the Feast Day of St. Blaise, the Church recalls a miracle cure associated with him and celebrates the blessing of the throats with candles.
St. Blaise said that anyone who lit a candle in his memory would be free of infection, thus candles are used in the traditional throat blessing. The candles (blessed on Candlemas Feb. 2) are crossed against the throat, and the following prayer is said:
“Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.“
Crossed candles are an important part of Saint Blaise Day, they commemorate the mother of the boy who choked on the fishbone. She presented Saint Blaise with crossed candles to light his way to jail when the ruler of Sebastea ordered his arrest. The origin of the blessing of throats uses crossed candles as a symbol.
St. Blaise, pray for us!