Friday, February 1, 2019

CANDLEMAS DAY AND ST. BLAISE


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.     - Prayer from the Blessing of the Throats

Saturday, February 2, marked the end of the Christmas/Epiphany season.  (You can take down your decorations now.)  The day is known as the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Presentation of Jesus to God in the Temple at Jerusalem 40 days after his birth.  The Light of Christ has come into the World!

This day is also called Candlemas day because around the world in churches and monasteries candles are blessed for the coming year. In Germany, and other countries, at the end of Evening Prayer on Candlemas Day and in anticipation of the feast of St. Blaise, they bless the faithful’s throats with lit candles.  I can only imagine the blaze that could cause if the priest were not of steady hand!    

In our monastery in Beacon were celebrate this ritual, without lit candles, thank you, for our own good health against diseases of the throat and other ailments, and for all the sick recommended to our prayer.

St. Blaise died in 317 and was a physician, bishop and martyr. The most famous legend about him was while he was in prison for refusing to renounce his faith, he miraculously cured a little boy who was choking to death on a fish bone.

May Christ our Light, through the intercession of St. Blaise, cast out all shadows of doubts and fears and cure our illnesses as we joyfully sing full-throated in praise to the God who hears and answers our prayers.  Have your throats blessed.  And as an extra precaution, get your flu shot!