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» Bishop Robert J.McManus and Brother Thomas Augustine MICM,Superior,St.Benedict Center,Still River,MA, interpret Vatican Council II with the 'possibilites are exceptions' error
Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:47 am by Lionel L. Andrades

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» Two popes must ask all Catholics to affirm Vatican Council II (premise-free) as they do
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» Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Still River Ma., could lose canomical status because of Feeneyism
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Achoo! "God bless you"...

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Achoo! "God bless you"...

Post  Roguejim on Sun May 27, 2012 10:56 pm

My stepson is home, on leave from the Army for 2 weeks(Afghanistan). He asked from where the phrase "God bless you" originates (when someone sneezes). He apparently hates hearing it under the pretense that it has no real purpose, and gets tired of thanking every person who says it on his behalf. I think this may be a point where I can segue the conversation toward the Faith. He is unbaptized. What is the origin and theology behind the phrase in question? If you don't know, please don't guess. Thanks.
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Re: Achoo! "God bless you"...

Post  George Brenner on Sun May 27, 2012 11:25 pm

Roguejim.

What I had always heard is the when you sneeze your heart stops or skips a beat. So the other person(s). would say God Bless you to keep "er Tickin. or that when you sneeze that the soul might escape so someone would say God Bless you to keep the soul inside the body. Did I just here you sneeze Roguejim......?

God Bless You
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Re: Achoo! "God bless you"...

Post  DeSelby on Mon May 28, 2012 12:44 am

The best explanation I've read is this one:

The custom of saying "God bless you" after a sneeze was begun literally as a blessing. Pope Gregory the Great (540-604 AD) ascended to the Papacy just in time for the start of the plague (his successor succumbed to it). Gregory (who also invented the ever-popular Gregorian chant) called for litanies, processions and unceasing prayer for God's help and intercession. Columns marched through the streets chanting, "Kyrie Eleison" (Greek for "Lord have mercy"). When someone sneezed, they were immediately blessed ("God bless you!") in the hope that they would not subsequently develop the plague. All that prayer apparently worked, judging by how quickly the plague of 590 AD diminished.

I like this explanation the best since it is actually rooted in something historically specific and Catholic — so it would naturally be an excellent segue for a discussion on the faith. I'd like to do more research on it (shouldn't be too hard since we have a reference to a specific Pope and a specific plague) but I do like this explanation none the less. I'm not going to say I'm entirely sure it's 100 percent true, at this point, but out of all the explanations I've seen it is the most logical and likely. Mysterious, though, how we still say it to this day.

Other explanations for the custom are rooted in the superstitious.

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Re: Achoo! "God bless you"...

Post  DeSelby on Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:11 am

Any of it help?
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Re: Achoo! "God bless you"...

Post  Guest on Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:13 pm

With the plague idea I heard that sneezing was the first sign of the black plague and you didn't know if you would see the person the next day so you blessed them.

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Re: Achoo! "God bless you"...

Post  Tradition on Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:41 pm

Hello to all on the forum.

I have a question: Are Catholics forbidden to say God bless you to non-catholics? Since it states in Sacred Scripture in 2 John 1: 10: If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you. Or can any one tell me how the Church understands this verse?

Thank you for your time in advance.

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Re: Achoo! "God bless you"...

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