At Masses today in our Diocese we celebrate Saints Lawrence, Dunstan and Theodore, early Archbishops of Canterbury. Following Mass, however, St Blaise steps in, and we offer his traditional blessing of the throat.
Blaise was a fourth century bishop, about whom little is known, but to whom attach several graphic tales. He used to bless animals and was famous for his healing powers - hence water blessed in his name is given to sick cattle. Bliase was eventually martyred by being torn with iron combs, and and accordingly the patron saint of wool combers. Most famously, however, he blessed a young child who was choking from a fish bone lodged in his throat. The boy recovered, and to this day the blessing of St Blaise for throats is given on his feast day.
The images show Fr Slawek (happy birthday!) administering the blessing in the Lady Chapel after 8.00am Mass.
Through the intercession of St Blaise
Bishop and Martyr
May you be preserved against diseases of the throat
and from every other infection;
in the name of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.