DIOCESE—This year, the Friday of Catholic Schools Week was also the Feast of St. Blaise.
St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, lived in the fourth century in Turkey and Armenia. For a time Blaise lived in a cave to escape persecution.
On his feast the church recalls a miracle cure associated with him and celebrates the blessing of the throats. Blaise apparently saved the life of a boy who was choking on a fish bone.
The saint said that anyone who lit a candle in his memory would be free of infection, thus candles are used in the traditional throat blessing.
Blaise is listed among the Fourteen Holy Helpers, saints revered as healers.
On that day, Feb. 3, Father Jonathan Bakkelund (left), parochial administrator at St. Peter Parish in Geneva and Deacon Gregory D’Anna blessed students’ throats.
At Sterling, parents and students had their throats blessed during the Sterling Deanery all-school Mass. The Mass, also held Feb. 3, was at Newman Central Catholic High School in Sterling.