Catholics at St Anne’s Centre for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in Belmont received a special blessing of the throat on the feast of St Blaise on February 3.
The feast day commemorates the bishop and martyr who lived during the third century.
Fr Michael Rowe, who is Rector of St Anne’s and Latin Mass chaplain, told The Record the blessing was an ancient ceremony.
The blessing is received after two consecrated candles are held by the priest in a crossed position and touched to the throats of the faithful.
Although there is limited information available about St Blaise’s life, he is known for performing the miraculous cure of a young boy who was choking to death after a fishbone was lodged in his throat.
“When St Blaise was imprisoned during a persecution, the boy’s mother brought him food and candles,” Fr Rowe said.
“Later, the idea of using candles to bless throats was celebrated on St Blaise’s feast day.” The text of the blessing reads: ‘Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat, and from every other evil’.
“Such a blessing and such a healing must have only two aims: to give glory to God and to bring hope and encouragement to others,” Fr Rowe said. “We must use our throats, our voices, in praise of God, giving him glory at all hours of the day and night.
“St Blaise is a constant reminder to us of God’s care and concern for us in our weakness, sickness, and limited human existence. His celebration is one of the ways in which we highlight and thank God for that care and concern.”
The blessing of the throats was also given to parishioners at Attadale after all Sunday Masses.