This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Eccles gets a Blaised throat

Yesterday was the feast of St Blaise, and February 3rd is a very appropriate time of year to celebrate him, since he is the one to go to for throat problems. I myself have had various coughs and colds throughout this winter, so I went up after Mass yesterday to have my throat blessed.

St Blaise

St Blaise with 4th century medical equipment.

Now, what outcome should I have expected? If Jesus had healed me in person, then I would have leapt up rejoicing; but clearly one expects slightly less from a retired Irish priest fumbling around with two candles, even if he is somehow appealing to St Blaise for help.

Still, for a few hours I did feel quite a lot better: no coughing and only a slightly sore throat. Maybe it was psychological, or maybe Fr Jack had managed to invoke a minor miracle.

Now, the Bible itself doesn't have many positive things to say about throats. For example, there's Psalm 69: I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.

St Paul (Romans 3) is also somewhat discouraging: Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips. Who is he referring to? Well, all of us, it seems.

Morecambe and Wise, Glenda Jackson

Cleopatra prepares to take delivery of an asp.

So here we are at a new day. The throat is slightly better, perhaps, but still not cured. Perhaps someone can advise me: is the St Blaise cure simply a matter of time? Or should I put this one down as a failure (like when, as a child, I asked God to mend my bicycle lamp and He refused)?

Well, there's always Lourdes, I suppose, but it seems a long way to go for a cough.


  1. Ironically I had such a bad cold yesterday I couldn't drag myself to Mass. Had I done so St Blaise would have been kept busy saving all the octogenarian parishioners I'd infected.
    I have a suspicion that already-canonised saints don't really pull their weight in this intercession business. Why would they? Much better to refer your disease to Cardinal Newman or anyone else who missed out on the 'santo subito' fast track.

  2. Oh ye of little faith. Sigh. Take a throat lozenge. Perhaps St Blaise wants us to use normal common sense along with prayers for his intercession...the old "God helps those who help themselves."

    St Blaise does heal throats. Many years ago St Blaise healed my throat through the skillful hands of a surgeon in a subtotal thyroidectomy. I try to get my throat blessed every year.

    Also, perhaps instead of healing people on the spot St Blaise uses his influence with God to PREVENT future sore throats so that people don't die from bacterial infections.

    And of course, if a person doesn't believe that St Blaise will help them, maybe he won't. Those "already-canonized saints" do pull their weight.

  3. Perhaps you need to find one of those Teutonic parishes next time (Fr Zuhlsdorf did a post, or NLM, or someone...) where they use crossed burning candles forcing you to be that much more serious about the faith business?

  4. Isn't he the patron saint of Blazers?