With the Feast of St. Blase falling Sunday this year (today), our rector said a special blessing at the end of Mass for protection against ailments of the throat, but did not do the individual blessing of throats that we would normally do when it falls on a weekday.
This got me wondering: How did it come to be that we have these traditions for the feasts of some saints, like blessing throats on the Feast of St. Blase or blessing animals of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, but not for others?
Why don’t we have our ears blessed for St. Polycarp of Smyrna (23 Feb), our heads for St. Aurelius of Riditio (9 Nov), our legs for St. Servatus (13 May), our eyes on the feast day of one of the many patron saints against eye problems, or get blessed against mental illness on the Feast of St. Dymphna (15 May)? Or against cancer on the Feast of St. Peregrine?
It can’t be simply an issue of which saints are on the General Roman Calendar for universal observance - St. Polycarp and a number of the patrons for eyes are on the General Roman Calendar.
I guess I’m just curious why we have a special practice set aside for blessing throats, but not so many other things.