Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 14 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Hadewych of Meer
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

The St. Blase blessing in the age of COVID

saint Blaise

Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. | Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 02/03/21

While traditionally prayed against the throat of each person, there is a provision that allows a priest to bless from a distance.

A popular tradition in many countries is the annual Blessing of Throats near the feast of St. Blase (February 3). It is a blessing that is inspired by the life of St. Blase, who was known to cure people with throat maladies during his life.

While the blessing may seem to be focused only on the throat, it has also been used to invoke God’s power to cure any illness. The priest typically prays the following prayer over the person.

Through the intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore, the Book of Blessingspublished by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explains the universal nature of the blessing.

In the United States the annual blessing of throats is a traditional sign of the struggle against illness in the life of the Christian.

As a result, the blessing takes on a new meaning in the “age of COVID,” as the world continues to struggle against the virus. It reminds us of our reliance on God and the reality that he has permitted this pestilence in his divine plan. We may not understand it, but we can turn to him for guidance and consolation.

The Book of Blessings further notes that the traditional blessing of throats does not need to be administered directly on the throat and can be offered at a distance.

If, for pastoral reasons, each individual cannot be blessed in the manner described in no. 1627, for example when great numbers are gathered for the blessing or when the memorial of Saint Blase occurs on a Sunday, a priest or deacon may give the blessing to all assembled by extending hands, without the crossed candles, over the people while saying the prayer of blessing.

The blessing can also be transferred to a different day (not necessarily on February 3) and can be given to “the sick or the elderly in their homes when they cannot attend the parish celebration.”

It is a beautiful blessing and while 2021 may be different, it does not mean that the tradition needs to be abandoned, especially when it specifically calls upon God’s help in times of sickness.




Read more:
Throat problems? Have it blessed on the feast of St. Blase


FEAST OF CANDLEMAS

Read more:
What you need to know about the beautiful feast of Candlemas

Tags:
COVID-19Devotions and Feasts
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...



Top 10
1
JESUS
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
2
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
3
SAINT FAUSTINA,CELL
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
4
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
5
DIVINE MERCY
Aleteia
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
7
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.