Thursday 4 February 2016

Cure for the Common Cold

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city is St Etheldreda's Church dating from about 1250 making it the oldest catholic church in England.

The church is named after Etheldreda who was born in 630, the daughter of King Anna of East Anglia.  She is attributed with freeing the bondsmen on her lands and generally being really popular with people at the time.  Her body was moved twice, the latter time 450 years after her death, when her body was found perfectly preserved it simply added to her saintly persona.

Among the saints and history are rituals and traditions (of course it is a catholic church after all) one such event is held on the 3rd of February, the ritual of "Blessing of the Throats."

Hey a cure for the common cold!  Well no I'm afraid not.  The tale appears to be born out of an event by Saint Blaise.  Well he wasn't a saint to begin with, that honour came after the miracles.  During the religious wars he was thrown into prison to rethink his religion.  While he was in there he "miraculously cured" a young boy who was choking on a fish bone.  Seems he was pretty good at treating throat ailments, so once a year he is called upon to treat ailments of the throat.

With the number of people coughing in London at present he has his work cut out for him.


Mandy said...

I like this post! A nice quirky but if London history!

Sharon said...

That is a tradition I had not heard of before. That photo is gorgeous!

William Kendall said...

An amazing stained glass window!

Jack said...

Beautiful stained glass, beautiful photo, and another interesting story.

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