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Why do people say 'God Bless You' when you sneeze?

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2011-06-08 06:23:05
2011-06-08 06:23:05

There are several theories for this.

One theory says that the phrase "God Bless you" came from an Islamic practice which originated over 1400 years ago. According to the Islam religion, when someone sneezed, he should say "All Praises to God" and in response the people would reply "May God Bless You".

Another explanation is that when people sneezed it was believed that the heart would miss a beat; in that microsecond, the skip would allow the devil to enter the body. Therefore, saying "God bless you" would stop the devil from entering one's body uninvited.

Another middle ages superstition held that, when one sneezed, a large amount of breath (regarded as the very breath of life) could be expelled suddenly from the body, resulting in death. In case the victim died in this instance, he/she would at least go to heaven with God's Blessing.

Written records state that the saying goes back to the time of Pope Saint Gregory I, or Gregory the Great, who was Pope of the Catholic Church from September 590 until he died in 604. When Pope Gregory ascended to the Papacy, it was just in time for the start of the Plague, so this Pope is unfortunately known as the patron saint of plague. He believed that constant repetition of litanies and unceasing prayer for God's help and intercession would help ward off sickness. On 16 February 590 A.D., Pope Gregory decreed that whenever someone sneezed, others should say "God bless you" in response. The blessing was given in the hope (or belief) that the one who sneezed wouldn't then develop the plague.

Perhaps there was more to this than people realised: it is interesting to note that the plague of 590 A.D. dissipated very quickly.

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Related Questions


Snot comes out of your nose and people usually say "bless you" or "god bless you". the reason people say god bless you is because you heart stops for a quick second and bacteria is what comes out when you sneeze.


they say bless you because when you sneeze your heart stops's there thanking god that you did not die


God bless you = Gott segne dich (God) bless you! (after a sneeze) = Gesundheit!


Snot comes out of your nose and people usually say "bless you" or "god bless you". the reason people say god bless you is because you heart stops for a quick second and bacteria is what comes out when you sneeze.


God is not human and there are no physical needs in the supernatural realm. Therefore, God does not sneeze.


Bless You. It sounds strange, I know, but that's what they say...


God can't sneeze, for he cannot be sick. He's perfect. If God were to choose to sneeze (sneezing is not always a symptom of an illness) and you were on hand to witness it, it would not be inappropriate to say "You bless You" which is a short way of saying "May you bless yourself".



No one really knows..... maybe people are just use to it. It was once believed that sneezing was something to do with being possessed by demons, so 'bless you' i.e.'God bless you', would help save you.


The equivalent to the English "God bless you" would be "Salud" in Spanish. This means "health."


if you have manners you would say excuse me, pardon me, or bless me. bless me is better.


Because you're hearing "Bless You" wrong, or they heard "Bless You" wrong and are saying "Blush You" because that's what they think you say when someone sneezes.People say "Bless You" because there was an old belief that your soul could slip out (or a demon could slip in) of your nose when you sneeze. The superstition is mostly gone, but the practice stuck.


because you can die when you sneez so they say god bless you too.



Jewish people prefer to say bless you, without saying G-d's name


We say God bless you as 'Isol nang.na patichina'


God bless you and your sister


When someone sneeze: AafeeAt BaashehWhen someone does something good: Khodaa khayret bedeh


"Bless You!" or "God Bless You!"It is polite to say "Bless you".


well people laugh because they don't now that god bless America and hes the pawerful god all mighty


selena gomez always says bless you from SELENA<3


Happy Birthday and God Bless you


"Godspeed" means "God speed you on your journey" and is used as a farewell. "God bless" is short for "May God bless you" and can be used at any time, but people usually say it when someone sneezes.


Deus beatus. means God bless. Deus te beatus. God bless you.


You say ... "God Bless This Theater" ... what exactly were you trying to ask here?



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