St. Blaise is not the patron saint of cooks — that would be St. Lawrence — but he is the patron saint of throats, which is the main way we experience our food. (That’s how I’m making this a food-related post, guys.) Today is his feast day, and on this day, Catholic Churches still conduct the annual blessing of throats associated with his memory. (Legend has it he cured a child who was choking on a fishbone.) I went to parochial school for six years, and after morning Mass on Feb. 3, we would line up to receive our individual neck check. Some priests just held two candles together in one hand in the shape of an X; in other parishes, the candles were specially formed to go partly around the neck. The priest held the juncture of the candles briefly to the person’s throat while asking St. Blaise to save us from all related ailments. A comforting ritual, as many rituals are meant to be. I just wanted to give St. Blaise a shout-out and a thank you on his special day!
(c) copyright Laura Groch 2014