Friday, February 3, 2012

Saint Blaise and the Young Catholic Imagination

Friday greetings to all. And happy Saint Blaise day.

I will never forget the day I learned about this feast. I was in first grade at Saint Charles Borromeo Grammar School in Woburn, Massachusetts. First grade classrooms were located on the first floor of the school, pictured here:

Sister James Cecilia, SND, my first grade teacher, taught us about Saint Blaise. My memory tells me that she told us about a boy who had a fish bone caught in his throat and it was killing him. But the boy's mother brought him to Blaise, who miraculously cured the boy.

This was one of the scariest stories for me. You have to remember that in 1964, we Catholics were all eating fish on Fridays. On many Fridays, one of the "Galipeau kids" would walk up to "Hatfield's Fish Market" on Main Street in Woburn to buy a pound or two of haddock, which my mother would then prepare for the evening dinner. Once I heard about the Saint Blaise story, I remember "fishing" through every piece of haddock for the rest of my childhood, looking for that elusive bone that, of course, would lodge in my throat, killing me. Oh, the Catholic imagination!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Kate S said...

As my mother always says, "Watch for bones!"

Anonymous said...

A true story I was ordained on Feb 2 1955. Went home the next day helped the Pastor in S.Brendans parish Dorchester Mass, to bless throats. My proud mother sat in the back of the church and heard some small boys talkng. One said to the others "that young guy up there must not know Latin because he is using English. they all came back to me and had their throats blessed again in ENGLISH. Then they undestood what happened.

Clay said...

The first time I remember going to mass on St. Blaise Day, I was terrified. My very devout grandmother was taking me to mass and to receive the throat blessing, but she left out the one detail that would have calmed my fear: I thought the candles were going to be LIT!