Yesterday was a fascinating day here in the Italian Catholic calendar. A day dedicated to San Biagio, or Saint Blaise in English, who became famous as a miraculous healer when after touching a child with a fish bone caught in his throat, the bone astonishingly melted.

We drove over the mountain to the tiny hamlet of Pierle to attend services honoring this former hermit made saint. The little church was packed to the gills with people who came from miles around to honor him. Even the high priest from La Cattedrale di San Donato in Arezzo was in attendance.

After the mass, we all waited our turn to be blessed by the priest. Holding two candles in a “V” against my throat, the priest quietly voiced in Italian,
For the prayers and the merits of San Biagio, God will free you of throat ache and any other aches.”
I walked away from the priest a little affected I must say…uneasy on my feet, but in a good way. I, luckily, have not had the pain of a sore throat or worse this season, and hopefully after this…I never will. We departed the church with two precious packages of blessed bread, apparently to be used throughout the year should such a problem arise, and a little book about the adored Chiesa di San Biagio a Pierle.

(A little comment…I did order roasted sea bass for lunch and had nary a problem with the bones…I had to giggle a bit when I thought about the coincidence, but note that I am a believer.)

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