Catholicism: What We Do pt. 7
February 3rd is the feast day of St. Blasius, the patron saint of throat illness and diseases. Following Mass on that Sunday,we will offer the Blessing of the Throats. People who desire this special blessing may come forward following Mass where we will hold crossed candles before the throats of the afflicted, invoking a blessing in the name of St. Blasius. He was born in Armenia where he suffered a martyr’s death in 316 A.D. It is written that through his prayers he was able to save a boy from choking to death.
Praying To Saints?
Catholics are known for asking saints to intercede for them and to pray for them in various situations. But why do Catholics pray to the saints? We believe life does not end with death rather it changes. We believe that through their life on earth, saints hold a special place in heaven in front of God and we can ask them for help. Prayer is a form of communication so when we pray to a particular saint we are simply in dialog with them. It’s not the same as worship, which is reserved only for God. I never prayed to the saints. Growing up in a mixed family, this practice was “too Catholic” for me. Last year I was fortunate to stand before the body of St. Francis Xavier, the Spanish missionary who was one of the founding members of the Jesuit order. I prayed before his body and my prayers were answered. In certain situations he continues to help when I ask.
If you don’t have a favorite saint, I encourage you to do some research, find one who appeals to you and let them find a special place in your heart.