- According to historians, the common tradition of saying “God bless you” or “bless you” started way back the Black Death Pandemic.
- Pope Gregory I urged the faithful to pray for and bless those afflicted by the disease.
It’s a common phrase we hear – or we may have even said it ourselves – whenever someone sneezes. “God bless you” or simply “bless you” has often followed a sneeze and while Christendom has pointed out its first biblical mention in Numbers chapter 6 verse 24 of the Old Testament (the passage reads “The Lord bless you and keep you”), the phrase has commonly been used as a farewell message.
So how did it end up becoming an automatic response to sneezing? According to historians, the tradition traces its roots back to the days of the bubonic plague, which is also known as the Black Death pandemic.
In a blog by the UCatholic website, we learn that Pope Gregory I encouraged believers to pray for divine help during the destructive plague that claimed numerous lives in Europe. He also told the people to quickly bless those who sneeze – one of the signs of getting infected with the lethal disease.
In a New York Times feature, Fordham University history professor W. David Myers further explained:
“For European Christians, when the first plague that weakened the now Christian Roman Empire around 590, Pope Gregory the Great believed that a sneeze was an early warning sign of plague, so he commanded Christians to respond to a sneeze with a blessing.”
The tradition stuck and spread and eventually, the short phrase was further shortened after some began to drop the name of diety, reducing it to only “bless you” in an attempt to make it a bit a more universal.
Harvard Medical School psychiatrist and social scientist Dr. Omar Sultan Haque said that some atheists do not like the three-word blessing and so for them, a simple “bless you” is preferable as it only implies a wish for good health.
Frank Farley, a professor of psychology in Temple University also added:
“Saying simply ‘bless you’ also reduces religious implications or revelations about your own beliefs. It’s more nonsectarian.”
Watch this video to learn more:
Follow On Facebook
TikToker Shares How She Tricked Invaders Who Tried Opening The Hotel Door While She Was Alone
5-Year-Old Artist Already Getting Commissioned For Her Paintings
Hiker Discovers Creepy Alien-Like Creature That “Smells Like Rotting Flesh”
New York Store Is Selling ‘Wet Pants Denim’ For $75
Burglary Victim Writes Heartbreaking Note Begging Robber To Return Last Photos Dog
Meet The Gorgeous Actress Who Portrayed Zombie Queen In ‘Army Of The Dead’
Florida School Sparks Outrage After Editing 80 Female Students’ Photos To Cover Their Cleavage
McDonald’s Recruitment Poster Offers New Employees With Free iPhone After Working For 6 Months
Horrific Video Shows Lioness Attacking Circus Trainer In Russia
Taking 4,500 Steps A Day Could Help You Live Longer, Says Research
Man Iced Neighbor Who Repeatedly Asked Him “When Are You Getting Married?”
Do You Live in One of These 15 Countries With The Most Beautiful Women on Earth?
The Secret Meaning of Anklets And Why Some Wives Wear Them
Waking Up Between 3 to 5 AM Could Mean You’re Experiencing Spiritual Awakening
Divorced Man Wrote 20 Epic Marriage Advice He Wished He Could Have Had
Haunting Photos of Two Tourists Snapped Just Before They Mysteriously Disappeared
“Chastity Cages” is the Latest Thing for Men
Pork Fat Is Officially One of the World’s Most Nutritious Foods
Some Stranger Padlocked This Guy’s Earlobe And Ran Away With The Key
Three-Month-Old Baby Left Blind in One Eye After Family Friend Took His Picture
News7 months ago
Mexican Residents Tie Mayor To Tree After He Failed To Fulfill His Campaign Promise
Stories10 months ago
An Old Lady Went To A Bank To Withdraw Some Money
OMG8 months ago
Chilling Footage Shows Guy Carrying His Tinder Date’s Corpse Inside A Suitcase
OMG7 months ago
Bride Asks Husband If She Can Hug Her Ex-BF “One Final Time” During Wedding