Today is the feast of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr. He is known as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. He was bishop of Sebaste in Armenia and was martyred for the faith. He is the patron for those with diseases of the throat, and on this day a special "St. Blaise Blessing" is administered in many churches, including mine. According to tradition he saved the life of a boy who was choking on a fish bone. The use of the crossed candles in the administration of the blessing is a symbol of that incident.
Blessing: Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may you be preserved from every illness of the throat, and every other disease, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.