February 3rd is the feast of St. Blaise. One reason for St. Blaise’s popularity arose from the fact that before he was a bishop, he was a physician who cured, even performing miraculous cures. Thereby, those who were sick, especially with throat ailments, invoked his intercession. Eventually the custom of the blessing of throats arose, whereby the priest held two crossed candles over the heads of the faithful or touched their throats with them while he invoked the prayer of the saint and imparted God’s blessing. In our present Roman Ritual, the priest prays, “Through the intercession of St. Blaise, 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.” While we invoke St. Blaise for his protection against any physical ailment of the throat, we should also ask his protection against any spiritual ailment. Throat blessings will be offered this weekend at St. EAS.