Catholics Will Receive Throat Blessing Today; the Blessing Honors St. Blaise, Patron Saint of Throat Illnesses

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Byline: terry brown

"Per intercessionem S. Blasii liberet te Deus a malo gutteris et a quovis alio malo," which is Latin for "May God at the intercession of St. Blaise preserve you from throat troubles and every other evil."

As these words are spoken, two candles are held slightly opened and pressed against the throat. Some who receive the blessing report the experience has been both moving and powerful.

Many Catholics who suffer with problems and illnesses of the throat will seek this blessing at churches today. Locally, the blessing of St. Blaise, patron saint of throat illnesses, will occur following the morning Mass at San Juan del Rio Catholic Church in Switzerland.

The blessing is usually attended by more than 150 people, said the Rev. Ed Booth of San Juan del Rio. In addition, the blessing will be given to the more than 270 children and teachers who attend the parish's school.

"The blessing of St. Blaise is very meaningful for many people," Booth said. "There are those who have attributed healing to the blessing."

St. Blaise was the Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia during the third and fourth century. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, he was a physician before being elevated to bishop. At the time, Christians were being persecuted under the rule of Licinius. …