On February 3, the church celebrates the Feast of St. Blaise, Bishop & Martyr. At the conclusion of Mass it is a custom to take two blessed candles (we celebrated Candlemas yesterday) , hold them in a cross, place them around a person’s neck and bestow the blessing of throats upon them.
The prayer for the blessing of throats is: “Through the intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness” or in Latin: “Per intercessionem S. Blasii liberet te Deus a malo gutteris et a quovis aloo malo.”
It is a rich tradition with a beautiful prayer/powerful blessing and neat way to show our Catholic faith. The church gives us many different “Sacramentals.” Described in the Catechism as: “Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy.” p.1667
There are many things that constitute as a sacramental. Scapulars, holy water, religious medals, rosaries, blessed ashes, palms, novenas, pilgrimages, devotions, blessed salt, statues, are all examples of sacramentals. I personally wear a miraculous medal as a sign of my Marian Consecration, an Ecce homo medal, my brown scapular with a St. Benedict medal attached, a rosary in my pocket, and use Holy water (and the rosary) on a daily basis. Sacramentals are great things, that really help us to grow in faith and keep us reminded of Christ, and the goal of our lives.
St. Blaise once healed a boy choking on a fish bone, which is why he is attributed with healing throats. For more information about his feast and his life, please visit here.
So, find a parish around you that is doing the blessing of throats, and go get some extra grace in your life on the third! It can’t hurt!