The Third of February brings St. Blaise’s Day, and, as our gift to you, your printable Convivio Book of Days Calendar for February 2015. The calendar is a good companion to the blog, and it’s typically at the Convivio Bookworks website on the First of each month, whether I remember to tell you or not. Sometimes the remembering takes me a few days, as it did this month.
As for St. Blaise, he is the saint one would call upon for maladies of the throat. Visit a church today and you will likely find the clergy bestowing blessings upon the congregation, one throat at a time, using two crossed candles, one on either side of the neck. This, as a result of St. Blaise once healing a young boy who was choking on a fish bone. The candles used in the blessing could very well be linked to the candles that were blessed just yesterday at Candlemas (or maybe they are meant to evoke super sized fish bones).
My partner Seth had his throat blessed one St. Blaise’s Day by Father Brice, and the next day he woke up with a sore throat. Coincidence? Perhaps. All the same, Seth has avoided throat blessings since that fateful Third of February. Truth be told, the St. Blaise’s throat blessing is one of the more bizarre traditions of the Catholic Church, and probably a bit too “magical” for more straight laced church goers, like, perhaps, Presbyterians. Nothing at all against Presbyterians, mind you. I just imagine there might be a good deal of frowning upon throat blessings with crossed candles in this case. And then again, maybe I am wrong. There is an old custom of lighting bonfires on St. Blaise’s Night in Scotland, that great bastion of Presbyterianism, so there may very well be some throat blessings going on there, too, at least among those who like things a little quirkier. And that’s one thing I love about St. Blaise’s Day: it is an annual reminder that strange things sometimes still happen.