The blasius blessing is more popular than ever
Some older people in stadtsteinach still remember that in the old days it was called "blasiwasser" the chickens and geese to drink to protect the animals from the fox all year round.
Today this need is long forgotten, even dean hans roppelt cannot remember the "blasiwasser recall. "No, we do not bless water", he explains. Nevertheless, the blasius blessing is still very popular and fascinates people. Priests give the blessing of the blasius with the words: "the almighty god grant you health and salvation; he bless you through christ, our lord, by the intercession of saint blasius."
The gilded candlestick
As a speciality in stadtsteinach every year a gilded candlestick is taken out of the sacristy: the blasius candlestick. The candles are inserted – like an andreas cross – and there are small trays under the flames to prevent wax from dripping down. "In untersteinach and in many other catholic communities the candles are tied together with a ribbon for the blessing", reports roppelt. The mesmer's work.
The "world's wisdom
Saint blasius is one of the 14 helpers in need. "It is clear why blasius is so popular. Everyone wants to be healthy, according to the dean. "The main thing is to be healthy, that's not just something you say. "Health is a great good. It's a worldly wisdom that you often only notice when you're ill, emphasizes roppelt and continues: "but we pray with blasius for a healthy life. It's not just about neck diseases and health in the body, but also in the soul."
Grandmothers come with grandchildren
The blessing of the blows is becoming more and more popular among evangelicals, too, the dean notes. "It is already when grannies come with their grandchildren or mothers with small children. I gladly give the blessing."
The crossed candles are held in front of each individual's neck, and each individual receives the blessing. "There was also the possibility to say the blessing in general, but it is this personal attention that pleases the people. So much time is there", says roppelt.
The shape of the andreas cross
But why are the candles held up in the form of the andreas cross?? "It is simply a matter of physics. Because with a real cross shape, the transverse candle went out", so roppelt.
One thing, however, is very important to the dean of stadtsteinach: "the blessing of blasius has nothing to do with magic, it is simply a prayer that we hope will be received." Roppelt points out that the request for the saints' intercession is a typically catholic matter. "Even today, many people find it special to pray together with saints who are already with god. But this has nothing to do with veneration."
But what has blasius actually done? Blasius was a doctor by profession and bishop of sebaste in the roman province of armenia (located in today's turkey). In the times of the persecution of christians, blasius hid in a cave. Wild animals guarded his domicile, the birds brought him food. And the hunters found no more game, because all the animals hid with blasius.
The hour of martyrdom
But one day blasius received the message that the hour of his martyrdom had come. Blasius came into prison and saved a boy who had swallowed a burr from suffocation. He did all kinds of good even out of prison. The persecutors of the christians were very angry with the steadfastness of the bishop, and they beheaded blasius. But before that, the saint asked that all those who have a "sore throat or any other infirmity" be blessed, should be honored. And a voice from heaven assured him the preservation of this request.
Patron saint of wind musicians
Today, saint blasius is considered the patron saint of wind musicians, shoe and hat makers, tanners, bakers, masons, plasterers, stonemasons, wax makers, soap makers and night watchmen.
In addition, the saint is asked to intercede for a good confession, for coughs, throat ailments, throat diseases, diphtheria, bladder diseases, hemorrhages, swears, colics, toothaches, plague, children's diseases, and for the prevention of storms and wild animals.
Mostly the holy st. Blasius depicted with candles. That is why on sunday, the sunday of the light of mary, additional candles are consecrated", says Dean Hans roppelt.
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