Saint Blaise was a bishop in Armenia who ministered to the spiritual and physical needs of his people. He lived in the fourth century during a time of persecution. After receiving a message from God to flee to avoid the persecutions, Saint Blaise retreated to the mountains where he lived among wild animals and cured the sick. He was eventually found and, while being taken away, encountered a boy who was choking on a fish bone. Saint Blaise healed the boy and for that reason he is the patron of people with throat ailments. Saint Blaise was captured and imprisoned until he died a martyr for the faith.
The blessing of throats on the feast of Saint Blaise is a popular tradition in the United States, Germany, Croatia and Italy. During this special blessing, the priest holds two crossed and unlit blessed candles around each person’s throat while saying the blessing prayer: “Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from all ailments of the throat and from every other illness. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” If for some reason the blessing cannot be given in the manner described, the priest or deacon can extend his hands, without the candles, over the congregation and pray blessing prayer over everyone at the same time.
Saint Blaise’s feast day is February 3rd, and he is the patron saint of those who suffer from throat illnesses (which leads to respiratory diseases, and after a year like 2020, we definitely need his special prayers in our life!)
Celebrate the feast of Saint Blaise with a tasty treat! Use this simple step-by-step guide to create edible Saint Blaise candles!
Pirouette cookies (make your own or buy them premade)
Fudge Stripe cookies (or cupcake liners)
Red sugar sprinkles (optional)
Red string or ribbon
Assemble the items to look like a candle (see the photo below). Put the pirouette cookie through the fudge stripe cookie (or through a slit in the cupcake liner) to resemble a candle drip. Attach a mini marshmallow to the top of the pirouette cookie and tie a small red ribbon on the candle. If you are feeling extra creative, add some sugar sprinkles to the marshmallow to create a “flame.” While you are assembling your edible cookies, tell your kids a little bit about Saint Blaise.
Saint Blaise was fond of wild animals and lived peacefully among them, bringing healing to those in need. Lord, help me see the needs of those around me and have the courage of Saint Blaise to respond to those needs. Amen