Saint of the day:
Blessing of the Throats
Patron Saint of throat illnesses, animals, wool combers, wool trading, and Bronte, Sicily
Saint Blaise’s Story
We know more about the devotion to Saint Blaise by Christians around the world than we know about the saint himself. His feast is observed as a holy day in some Eastern Churches. In 1222, the Council of Oxford prohibited servile labor in England on Blaise’s feast day. The Germans and Slavs hold him in special honor, and for decades many United States Catholics have sought the annual Saint Blaise blessing for their throats.
We know that Bishop Blaise was martyred in his episcopal city of Sebastea, Armenia, in 316. The legendary Acts of
St. Blaise were written 400 years later. According to them Blaise was a good bishop, working hard to encourage the spiritual and physical health of his people. Although the Edict of Toleration (311), granting freedom of worship in the Roman Empire, was already five years old, persecution still raged in Armenia. Blaise was apparently forced to flee to the back country. There he lived as a hermit in solitude and prayer, but he made friends with the wild animals. One day a group of hunters seeking wild animals for the amphitheater stumbled upon Blaise’s cave. They were first surprised and then frightened. The bishop was kneeling in prayer surrounded by patiently waiting wolves, lions and bears.
The legend has it that as the hunters hauled Blaise off to prison, a mother came with her young son who had a fish bone lodged in his throat. At Blaise’s command the child was able to cough up the bone.
Agricolaus, governor of Cappadocia, tried to persuade Blaise to sacrifice to pagan idols. The first time Blaise refused, he was beaten. The next time he was suspended from a tree and his flesh torn with iron combs or rakes. Finally, he was beheaded.
On February 3rd – On Saint Blaise's feast day –
people gather in churches for the blessing of throats.
The blessing is a sign of
the people’s faith in God’s protection and love for the sick.
Using two crossed and unlighted candles,
the priest touches the throat of each person, saying:
Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from all ailments of the throat and from every other evil: + in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Usually the blessing takes place during Mass. It follows the homily and the prayer of the faithful.
Dom St. Blasien (Cathedral of Saint Blaise),
St. Blasien, Germany
The saint has a legendary association with bread,
which he used to save the boy who was choking on a fish bone.
Saint Blaise is, in fact, the protector against throat ailments and choking.
According to this Milanese tradition, eating panettone first thing on the morning
of February 3 will safeguard the throat against illness or problems.
Panettone French Toast
For the Orange Cream:
½ cup heavy cream
1 TBSP confectioners sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp kosher salt
For the French Toast:
2½ cups whole milk
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground cinnamon
4 TBSP butter, divided
One 2-pound loaf panettone, 1-inch-thick slices
1. Make the orange cream: In a medium bowl, whisk together
the orange cream ingredients to stiff peaks. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Make the French toast: In a large bowl, whisk together the
milk, sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and eggs until smooth.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Dip 4 pieces of the panettone into the batter and place in the pan. Cook, flipping once, until golden
brown, 2 minutes per side. Transfer the French toast to a platter and
repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
4. Spoon the orange cream over the French toast, then garnish with pecans and serve with maple syrup.
Saint Blaise began as a healer then became a "physician of souls."
"May the intercession of Saint Blaise preserve you from all ailments of the throat and every other evil."