The familiar tradition of speaking “God bless you” or “bless you” started back to the days of the Black D3ath Pand3mic, according to historians.
“Bless you” or “God bless you” is the common expression we hear to the people surrounded as whenever someone sneezes.
Most of us are surely still wondering why these phrases became an automatic reply to someone who is sneezing. According to historians, the idea started way back the Black D3ath pand3mic. We learn in a blog by the UCatholic website that Pope Gregory encouraged believers to pray for diving help during the noxious d1sease that k1lled a lot of lives in Europe. As one of the signs of getting infected with the destructive plague was sneezing, he said to the people to quickly bless those who sneeze.
Fordham University history professor W. David Myers further explained the reason behind it in the New York Times,
“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 immediately spread all over the world and the short phrase was eventually reduced after some started to drop the name of diety, diminishing it to only “bless you” in an effort to deliver it a bit more universal.
According to Harvard Medical School social scientist and psychiatrist Dr. Omar Sultan Haque, for them, the simple phrase “bless you” is better as it only means a wish for good health and some atheists also didn’t like the three-word blessing.
A professor of psychology at Temple University, Frank Farley further explained,
“Saying simply ‘bless you’ also reduces religious implications or revelations about your own beliefs. It’s more nonsectarian.”
What can you say about this? Do you tell that to the person whenever he or she sneezes? Kindly share your comments, reactions, and thoughts with us.