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Page 6 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 5, 2010 Saint Blaise by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari There are many rituals we perform with scant knowledge of their origin, for many of us, the blessing of the throat on the Feast of Saint Blaise (Feb- ruary 3) is such a ritual. It is a ritual that we begin as chil- dren and faithfully carry on into our latter lives with the hope that through the invoca- tion of Saint Blaise he will in- tercede on our behalf in ill- nesses of the throat. According to tradition, Blasius (Blaise), who had studied philosophy in his youth, was a doctor in Sebaste, Armenia, the city of his birth, who exercised his art with pi- ety and good-will. When the bishop of the city died, he was chosen to succeed him, with the acclama- tion of the people The first reference we have to him is in manuscripts of the medical writings of a court physician named Amidenus, who wrote of him at the very end of the 5 th or the beginning of the 6 th century; there his aid is invoked in treating objects stuck in the throat. In 316, Agricola, the governor of Cappadocia and of Lesser Armenia, arrived in Sebaste with instructions from the emperor Licinius, to kill Christians. Blaise was arrested and taken prisoner at the command of the governor. As Blaise was being led to prison, a mother set Statue of Saint Blaise on the Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc in Olomouc (Czech Republic). (Photo by Michal MaHas) her only son, choking to death of a fish-bone, at his feet, and the child was cured straight away. Regardless, the governor, unable to make Blaise renounce his faith, had him beaten and tortured with iron combs that tore at his skin, he was then beheaded. Blaise is often depicted with the instruments of his martyrdom, iron combs. The similarity of these instru- ments of torture to wool combs led to his adoption as the patron saint of wool combers in particular, and the wool trade in general. He is also depicted with crossed candles. Such crossed candles are used for the blessing of throats on the feast day of Saint Blaise. Saint Blaise is traditionally believed to intercede in cases of throat illnesses.. He blessed throats and effected many miracles, according to his biographers. In many places on the day of his feast the blessing of St. Blaise is given: two candles are consecrated, generally by a prayer, these are then held in a crossed position by a priest over the heads of the faithful or the person is touched on the throat with them. At the same time the following blessing is given: "May God at the intercession of St. Blasius (Blaise) preserve you from throat troubles and every other evil. WHAT GIVES WITH GOVERNOR PATRICK? Recently, he said he found funding for the two Soldiers Homes in Massachusetts after slashing that budget last year. He also told a joint session of the Legislature, that he supports funding more monies for public edu- cation. Then, told the Mas- sachusetts Municipal Asso- ciation that he doesn't sup- port slashing local aid this year to cities and towns. Either the state is in dire financial straits or it isn't. Recently, I received a letter from the Group Insurance Commission that stated be- cause of the state's economy and less than good revenue stream; out of pocket ex- penses for health insurance coverage would increase. Sounds like the government by Sal Giarratani wants to have it both ways depending on how it looks good for him. Remember this year he is running for re- election. Recently, he also said people are moving into the Bay State which would be good news if it were true. However, we all know that after the 2010 US Census is over, Massachusetts will probably lose another House seat again, bringing our number of seats down to just nine. We've been losing House seats thanks to our dwindling population for a long time now. As far as the remark, that people are moving into our state, is that really true? Who's mov- ing in? I asked someone at my favorite coffee shop, Greater Boston's Affordabte Private Cemetery Traditionat Buriat Hot (for at S 1500 MIC00LCEMETERY COMMUNITY MAUSOLEUMS GAENCOLUMBARIUMS 617.524.1036 131 www.stmichaelcemetery.com the Italian over 100 years! Boston Harborside Home Joseph A. Langone 580 Commercial St. - Boston, MA 02109 617-536-4110 www.bostonharborsidehome.com Joseph F. Allen Trevor Slauenwhite Frederick J. Wobrock Dino C. Manca A Service Family Afiliate of AFFS/Service Corporation International 206 WInter St., Fall River, MA 02720 Telephone 508-676-2454 ACCEPTING Advertisements J Contrada's in the North End and he told me, "Yes, they're moving in from Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, etc." Meanwhile, Texas may gain a couple of new House seats as their population is actually growing and we're not talking just from Mexico but from all over the coun- try, even Massachusetts. Patrick is putting a good spin on things but it just the rinse cycle to me. Is the cup half empty or half full? At this point, it looks like In- dependent Tim Cahill could actually get elected in No- vember with Patrick finish- ing as door number 3. People are tired of all the political gamesmanship going on and on and on. MID-WINTER BOOK SALE AT COPLEY LIBRARY The Citywide Friends of the Boston Public Library will hold their mid-winter book sale on Saturday, February 6 th from 10-4 PM. The sale will be in the usual location, the Mezzanine Conference Room of the Johnson Building in Copley Square. Most hardcovers are $2, most paperbacks $I. Our premium sec- tion features new, oversize, signed, first edition, collect- ible, and others at higher prices. As a special event for this sale only the Citywide Friends has obtained a se- lection of older {50 year +) books and portfolios. We're not going to tell you what we've got -- you have to come l to the sale! | For further information I and directions please go to www.bpl.org or e-mail cwfbpl@hotmail.com. Ward 3 Democrats to Hold Caucus Registered Democrats in Ward 3 Boston will be holding a caucus at the Nazzaro Community Center, (30 North Bennett Street) on Saturday, February, 20, 2010 at 10:30 AM to elect delegates to the 2010 Massachusetts Democratic Convention. The Convention will be held on Friday, June 4  and Sat- urday, June 5 th at the DCU Center in Worcester. Demo- crats from across the Commonwealth will gather during that weekend to endorse Democratic candidates for state- wide office. The caucus is open to all registered Democrats in Ward 3. Registration will begin at 10:00 am. For more caucus information please contact Ward Chairman Jason A. Aluia at WardThreeDem@gmail.com or call 617-523-5258. Eight Ways to Be Your Own Valentine Whether you're single or in a relationship, February 14 can be an opportunity to renew your commitment to a healthy lifestyle and enhance your well-being. Chocolates and sweets may abound, but this Valentine's Day, incorporate the following ten tips from TOPS Club, Inc. 8. Write down your many talents and qualities that you like about yourself. They can be as grand as flying an airplane or as simple as frequently leaving a tip at your local coffee shop. Continue being aware, and add to this list for a regular boost of self-esteem. 7. Indulge in a (non-food) treat. Perhaps you always focus on the needs of others without ever doing anything nice for yourself. Buy a bouquet of flowers to brighten up your home or pamper your feet with a rejuvenating pedicure. Valentine's Day is the perfect occasion to treat yourself well. 6. Take time to write down and examine your goals. You may surprise yourself, as expressing your goals specifically on paper can be freeing and open up possibilities you might never have considered. Many of them might already be within your grasp. 5. Remember the special people in your life. February 14 doesn't have to focus on the love you share with your sig- nificant other. Consider family members, friends, and men- tors who make your life meaningful the rest of the year. Send a card to let them know how much you care or spend an afternoon just catching up, to leave both of you feeling treasured. 4. Try something new. Give yourself permission to take risks by exploring a new hobby, tackling that home improve- ment project, or training for a race. Don't let fear or excuses hold you back from your best self. 3. Create a food and exercise/activity plan tailored just for you. There's no need to hire a trainer or sign up for a pricey gym. Peruse healthy lifestyle magazines for workout tips, meal plans, and delicious, low-calorie recipes. Visit the local library or surf the Web for free materials and advice, as well. 2. Count your blessings. Think about what you are thank- ful for, and record them in a journal each night. The habit of looking on the bright side of each day and being grateful helps create an upbeat attitude and can add a sweet touch to life. 1. Relax, play, and enjoy life m without guilt. Just as a car's battery won't work unendingly without being recharged, remember that everyone needs to give themselves a break occasionally. Stop expecting the impossible from yourself and simply do the best you can with each day. DIVORCE * CRIMINAL LAW OFFICES OF FRANK J. CIANO 230 MSGR. O'BRIEN HIGHWAY GENERAL PRACTICE OF LAW WILLS * ESTATE PLANNING * TRUSTS PERSONAL INJURY * WORKERSCOMP. 617-354-9400 Si Parla Italiano CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 02141 POST-GAZETTE EAST BOSTON SATELLITE OFFICE is NOW OPEN MARIE MATARESE 35 Bennington Street, East Boston 617.227.8929 MON. and TUES. 10:00 A.M. - 3.00 P.M. THURS. 11:00 A.M.- 2:00 P.M. General Advertisements , Sales and Rentals Memorials , Legals ADVERTISING WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE