Good Question: Why Do We Say ‘Bless You’ When Someone Sneezes?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — RaeAnn from Kenyon asks: Why do we say “Bless You” when someone sneezes?

There has always been a theory that your heart skips a beat when you sneeze. But Dr. David Hildren of Hennepin County Medical Center says that probably doesn’t happen.

(credit: HASSAN AMMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: HASSAN AMMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

How about theories that sneezing lets your soul escape from your body or allows in evil spirits? Those superstitions have been around for years.

But it turns out we say “Bless You” because that is what Pope Gregory the Great said it in 590, when Europe was in the throes of the Black Death.

He ordered anyone who sneezed to be blessed because that was the first sign of the illness.

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