ST. BLAISE BLESSING
A special blessing of throats on the feast of St. Blaise (February 3), martyr and Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia (died c. 316). According to legend, he had been a physician who was cast into prison by the pagans in the persecution of Emperor Licinius. He performed a marvelous cure on the throat of a child who was choking on a fishbone it had swallowed. Ever since, St. Blaise has been involved against throat troubles. He is honored as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. On his feast day the faithful receive the blessing of St. Blaise, given by a priest holding two candles against the throat, while saying "Through the intercession of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, may God deliver you from illness of the throat and from every other evil. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."