Tuesday, 3 February 2009

St Blaise

May God at the intercession of St. Blaise preserve you from throat troubles and every other evil. Amen.

Let us especially remember in our prayers today all those who sing in church choirs.


Sharon said...

I am an Australian and I had never heard of the blessing of throats on the feast of St Blaise. I wonder though what happens when someone who has had their throat blessed comes down with some sort of throat infection or, God forbid, develops throat cancer?

Peter Simpson said...

Sharon, this is a good comment! I think it raises two points - one rather trivial and the other far from trivial.

The first question is why is the blessing not popular in Australia? Well (as we are all so sadly aware from the news at present), it is very much mid-summer in Australia, and the blessing seems more appropriate in mid-winter when many people are suffering from sore throats etc. The UK is in the grips of heavy snow falls at present.

The second question is what does it mean if the blessing appears not to work? Well, when we pray we don't always get what we ask for. It is perfectly understandable that we pray for good health - that we will be prevented from suffering throat and other diseases. As a deacon, people often ask me to pray for them. I have never said - no I wont because it might not work! I imagine that St Blaise will give much the same reply. Some people (perhaps quite wrongly) think that I am better at praying for them than they are, and I suppose this is partly why we hand things over to the intercession of Blaise. As a bishop he did after all cure a boy who was chocking to death on a fish bone.

At the end of the day we are left with the question - why do we suffer at all? Why do people (like my step father ) get cancer? Looking at Jesus on the cross is a source of strength and courage. After all, Bishop Blaise suffered - he was martyred for his faith.

I hope this reply is of some help!