Feb 3 Feast of St Blaise

How many of you have been to mass and healing service? You might say I don’t think that I have been to one. But you might have been to one and not realized it.

February 3 is the feast day of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr. St Blaise was a fourth century bishop. Tradition tells us that a woman had a son who was choking on a fish bone, and the bishop prayed over the boy and he was healed.

From this event in the life of St Blaise rose the tradition of blessing the throats of people at mass on Feb 3.

At the mass the priest or deacon will say as he places two candles around the person’s throat, “through the intercession of St Blaise bishop and martyr may you be healed of every disease of the throat and of every other illness.”

I think there is a lot of theology in this prayer. First we are asking for the intercession of St Blaise. But we also in this prayer have a theology of the church’s teaching on suffering.

We are asking through the intercession of St Blaise to not only heal the throat. but any other illness.

The prayer that the priest or deacon prays is part of the official liturgy of the church. I think we see the church’s teaching on illness. Namely that all sickness and disease is not part of God’s plan because we are praying for the healing of the throat and of every other illness.

I often meet people who never think of going to a mass and healing service. They might say those “charismatics are crazy”. Maybe without realizing it we go to a mass and healing service on the feast of St Blaise.

Like all healing services we have to have faith. When we get our throats blessed this Friday on the feast of St Blasie may we come with faith and expect to get healed.

If you have cancer, heart disease, back problems, or throat disease come with faith and allow God to heal you through the intercession of St Blaise bishop and martyr.

Blessing Father Stefan

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