The Presentation of the Lord, Sunday, February 2
Forty days after the Birth of Our Lord and King, St. Joseph and the Most Blessed Virgin Mother Mary brought the infant Lord to the Temple in Jerusalem to present him in observance of the Law of Moses. The Gospel of Luke gives us the foundation for this great feast of the Church. This weekend, February 1-2, the Universal Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. In some circles, it is referred to as the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, and this feast is significant that when it falls on a Sunday, the liturgies for the Presentation are celebrated instead of the Sunday of Ordinary Time. It is very fitting as we commemorated Our Savior’s birth 40 days ago at Christmas that we celebrate His Presentation this weekend.
St. Blaise and the Blessing of Throats, Monday, February 3
February 3rd is the optional Memorial of St. Blaise, the patron saint of diseases of the throat. Since Holy Mother Church understands that her members need all the blessings we can get, especially
during this cold and flu season, there is in the Book of Blessings a special throat blessing using crossed candles to be administered only on his feast day. As for St. Blaise, he was from Armenia and lived during the third and early fourth centuries. He was a physician, and later, he was consecrated a bishop serving in Sebastea. As persecution of Christians raged in Armenia, Bishop Blaise fled to a cave living as a hermit in prayer and solitude. Eventually, he was imprisoned, and purportedly while on the way to his confinement, a woman brought her little boy who was choking on a fishbone in his throat to the holy bishop. He miraculously cured the boy who was near death.
In 316, St. Blaise suffered cruel torture and martyrdom, giving up his life for the Lord. “Since the eighth century, Saint Blaise has been venerated as the patron of those who suffers diseases of
the throat” (Book of Blessings p. 692). St. Blaise pray for us.