February 3.  St Blaise.  Kuan was a medical student. He shared, “Although St Blaise is said to have cured a young boy choking on a fishbone a tradition grew up around blessing of throats as well as of those suffering from diseases of the chest and lungs. Diphtheria and TB have been life-threatening diseases of their day. There have been many deaths related to HIV/AIDS in the last 30 years before anti-retroviral drugs were developed. Even more recently COVID-19 has caused many deaths but even more illness and general societal chaos, until a vaccine was developed that is better able to control the disease. Come to think of it, I wonder how many people prayed to St Blaise for his protection during COVID.  Blessings and prayers about certain conditions remind us of God’s care and concern for us in sickness. I just heard that Pope Francis prayer intention for February is for people suffering from a terminal illness.”

Reflect, share, Scripture:  Jesus said to the Eleven before his Ascension. “In my name they will cast out demons, they will lay their hands on the sick and they will recover.”  Mark 16:14-20   Catechism 1622.  Suffering and illness have always been among the greatest problems that trouble the human spirit. Christians feel and experience pain as do all other people; yet their faith helps them to grasp more deeply the mystery of suffering and to bear their pain with greater courage. Part of the plan laid out by God’s providence is that we should fight strenuously against all sickness and carefully seek the blessings of good health, so that we may fulfil our role in human society and in the Church” Pray: for and ask for the intercession of St Blaise on those still suffering from long COVID.  Choose appropriate action.