Origins of the Blessing of St Blaise

St. Blaise is known as the protector of the throat, and on his liturgical feast day priests all over the world administer the blessing of St. Blaise. But what is the origin of this tradition?

Newsroom (February 3, 2022, 1:15 PM, Gaudium Press) The liturgy of the Catholic Church celebrates on today, February 3, the memory of St. Blaise. This Catholic Saint, who was a physician and bishop of Sebaste, Armenia, lived between the 3rd and 4th centuries, 264 to 316 AD, and was killed out of hatred for the Faith.

St. Blaise was known for his virtues and for obtaining miraculous cures through his intercession. When news spread that the saint was on his way to the city of Sebaste, the roads filled with people, even pagans came to receive his blessing and be relieved of their ills.

Saint Blaise, protector of the throat

A poor, afflicted and disconsolate woman burst into the crowd as best she could, and full of confidence, knelt at the feet of the Saint and presented to him one of her sons who was in agony due to a spine that had pierced his throat and was asphyxiating him without any possibility of human help.

Compassionate to the pitiable state of his son and the suffering of his mother, the pious Bishop raised his eyes and hands to heaven, making this fervent prayer:

“My Lord, Father of mercy and God of all consolation, deign to hear the humble prayer of your servant and restore this boy to health, so that all the world may recognize that You alone are the Lord of death and life. And since You are the sovereign God, mercifully liberal to those who invoke Your holy Name, I humbly implore You that all those who henceforth turn to me to obtain from You, through the intercession of this servant of Yours, the cure of such ailments, will feel the effect of their trust, and will be benignly heard and favourably attended to.

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No sooner had the saint finished his prayer than the boy expelled the spine and was completely cured. This fact is the origin of the particular devotion of the faithful to St. Thomas for throat problems.

Blessing of Saint Blaise

When a child or anyone chokes, it is a tradition in many places to invoke St. Blaise saying: “St. Blaise protect you!”. On February 3, in Catholic churches around the world, this blessing is given in a special way.

The priest touches two crossed candles over the throat of the faithful and says the following prayer: “Through the intercession of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, deliver God from the evil of the throat and from any other sickness. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. St. Braise, pray for us. Amen.”

Prayer to St. Blaise

O blessed St. Blaise, who received from God the power to protect men against throat diseases and other ills, remove from me the disease that afflicts me.

(Make your request)

Preserve my throat healthy and perfect so that I may speak correctly and thus proclaim and sing the praises of God. With God’s grace and with Your help, I promise to strive, O glorious Martyr St. Blaise, that the speech that comes out of my throat may always be:

Of truth and not of lies;
Of justice and not of slander;
Of kindness and not of harshness;
Of understanding and not of intransigence;
Of forgiveness and not condemnation
Of apology and not of accusation
Of respect and not contempt
Of conciliation and not of intrigue
Of calm and not of irritation
Of detachment and not selfishness
Of edification and not of scandal;
Of cheerfulness and not defeatism
Of conformity and not of whining
Of love and not of hate
Of joy and not of sadness
Of faith and not unbelief
Of hope and not of despair.

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Saint Blaise, intercede before God for me, for my family, and for all those who suffer from throat diseases. That by our words we may bless God and sing his praises.

Saint Blaise, pray for us! (3 x)

O God, through the intercession of St. Blaise bishop and martyr, deliver us from the ills of the throat and from any and all diseases. Amen. (EPC)

Compiled by Zephania Gangl

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