On February 3, the Catholic Church calendar commemorates St. Blaise, a bishop and physician who lived in western Armenia in the fourth century. Today, he is best known for the tradition of the St. Blaise blessing of the throat, given on this date in many churches, asking for protection from throat ailments. What meaning can we draw from this practice? It’s a reminder of the importance of the body in our Christian faith. Humans are created in the image of God; Jesus, the Son, became human; we connect with Jesus in the Body and the Blood at communion. Our physical being is not secondary to our spirit; it is a part of who are. It’s through our body that we can give physical help to someone who needs care; create works of art that express the height and depth of human experience; and through our voices that we sing the praise of God.
by Karen Rose, OSB