Did you Know????
When we sneeze, people say, Bless you or God bless you. Why do they do that? Well, hundreds of years ago, no one knew what caused sneezes. People back then thought that when you sneezed, your soul came out of your body, or they thought that when you sneezed an evil spirit would come into your body. In order to protect themselves from evil spirits, they would say God bless you. This was supposed to be a blessing that would keep the evil spirits away. We still say Bless you today, even though we know that evil spirits can't come and go with a sneeze.
There was also the misconception that the heart momentarily stops during a sneeze, it doesn't, and that saying bless you was a way of welcoming the person back to life.
So saying God bless you was a way of commending them to the care of God.
The exchangeable term gesundheit comes from Germany, and it literally means health. The idea is that a sneeze typically precedes illness. It entered the English language in the early part of the 20th century, brought to the United States by German speaking immigrants.
We now know that sneezing is a reflex action and is most often the sign of something relatively benign, such as a cold or allergy. A sneeze also can be provoked by being outside in the sunlight or from smelling a strong odor. Still, we persist in the custom of saying bless you or gesundheit, mainly out of habit and common courtesy.
This is a phrase that asks the Lord to protect you, keep you in good health, and fill your life with good and happiness. It is the very best thing we can want for someone.
So when someone sneezes, yes let’s say God bless you.
…and when someone is in pain, let’s say God bless you
…and when someone is struggling from addiction, let’s say God bless you
…and when someone is locked in by fear, let’s say God bless you
…and when someone is in mourning, let’s say God bless you.
To say God bless you isn’t an empty wish. It is often a word of hope in the midst of despair.
May God bless you and may you have a merry Monday!
May God bless your day and you!