Charity and Throat Blessings: A Reflection on St. Blaise’s Story

Charity and Throat Blessings

Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

2 Corinthians 9:6

After Mass on the Feast Day of St. Blaise, priests traditionally bless the throats of parishioners with two white candles. This practice is appropriate because St. Blaise intercedes for those with diseases of the throat. When you think of St. Blaise, you may remember the legend of how he saved a young boy from choking on a fish bone.

This explains why he’s the patron Saint of throat ailments, but where do the white candles come from?

Charity and Throat Blessings
Charity and Throat Blessings

Bishop Blaise was arrested for his faith, and his cell was pitch dark. As a small yet meaningful act of charity, a widow secretly gave Bishop Blaise two white candles so that he could have light in his prison cell. Because of this widow’s generosity and kindness, Bishop Blaise became a Saint who still generously intercedes for us today. When we receive our annual throat blessing and celebrate St. Blaise’s Feast Day, we also remember the widow and her gift of the two candles.

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Acts of Charity
This story reminds us that the little acts of charity that we perform have more meaning than we may realize. That widow who simply wanted Bishop Blaise to have some light in the darkness probably didn’t know that her charity would bear so much fruit. Now we use replicas of her candles to bless countless throats annually through the intercession of St. Blaise.

As a takeaway from this reflection, don’t overlook tiny good deeds, and don’t underestimate the magnitude of your charity. Always go the extra mile and put a little more effort and intention into your little acts of kindness. Like this widow, you never know when you’re helping a future Saint change the world.

St. Blaise, pray for us!

Stay radiant!

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Published by madeline_mckissick

Originally from Western Pennsylvania, Madeline spent a year of service in Washington DC before settling on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She and her husband, Nathan strive for holiness and Sainthood by living simply and intentionally with their eyes fixed on God. You can find Madeline wearing cardigans, enjoying a charcuterie board and a glass of wine, playing board games, spending time with her loved ones, and sometimes doing all four at once. Check out and @radiantwjoy on Instagram!

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