Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 23

The boyos and me went to the beach this afternoon with the lovely Hipp family where we all had the best swim in the surf, massive waves, and clear water, I just didn't want to get out.  But once I did, the nose started running and I started sneezing with "bless you's" echoed after each sneeze.  Which got me thinking... why do we say "bless you"?

Legend holds that it was believed that the heart stops beating and the phrase "bless you" is meant to ensure the return of life or to encourage your heart to continue beating after a sneeze.  Another version says that the custom originally began as an actual blessing. Gregory I became Pope in 590 as an outbreak of the bubonic plague was reaching Rome. In hopes of fighting off the disease, he ordered unending prayer and parades of chanters through the streets. At the time, sneezing was thought to be an early symptom of the plague. The blessing ("God bless you!") became a common effort to halt the disease.

Hmmm, now I know....

1 comment:

  1. Love hte official line. I was always told it was because a Catholic belief that when you sneeze your spirit leaves your body momentarily and by saying "God bless you" puts the spirit back in (this is why you 'shouldn't' bless yourself).
    I rather like George from Seinfeld's theory that it would be better to say
    "You are soooo good looking". I say it in the office sometimes. :-)