Today is the feast day of St Blaise, and the Church celebrates his feast day as a memorial.
St. Blaise was the bishop of Sebaste in Armenia during the 4th century.
Not much is known about his life and according to various accounts, he was a physician before becoming a bishop.
He was reputed to have miraculously cured a little boy who nearly died because of a fishbone that was stuck in his throat.
Devotion to him spread in the Middle Ages and from the 8th century, he has been invoked on behalf of the sick, especially those afflicted with illnesses of the throat.
Hence, on this feast day of St. Blaise, a blessing of throats may be given by a priest or deacon during Mass or after Mass depending on pastoral situations.
The blessing of throats is a profound sign of the struggle against illness in the life of the Christian.
As the Roman Ritual puts it - The blessing of the sick by ministers of the Church is a very ancient custom, rooted in the imitation of Christ Himself and His apostles.
So as much as we Christians feel and experience pain as the rest of humanity, yet our faith in God helps us to grasp more deeply the mystery of suffering and to bear our pain with greater courage, just as St. Blaise did in his martyrdom.
Through the intercession of St. Blaise, may we fight strenuously against all sickness and seek the blessings of good health, so that we may bear witness to God's love and His providence.
Prayer of blessing of throats :
"Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat, and from every other disease. In the name of the Father and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.