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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
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"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 the Blessing of the Throats
During this Mass, throats are blessed through the intercession of St. Blaise. St. Blaise was the fourth-century bishop of Sebastea, Armenia. He was martyred for the faith in 316 A.D. He is the patron saint of throat ailments. Legend holds that he saved the life of a boy who was choking on a fish bone. As early as the ninth century in the Western Church, he was invoked for throat ailments, and by the 15th century, the blessing of the throat ritual had begun. On his feast day, two blessed candles are tied together with a red ribbon in the form of a cross and pressed against the throat for a blessing. The red ribbon represents the blood of martyrs, and the candles held in the shape of an “X” represent the martyrdom of St. Andrew, who, according to tradition, was crucified on an X-shaped cross. To learn more, see a Novena to St. Blaise or Catholic Culture to find a prayer of blessing for the throat.