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.

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(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.

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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.

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

Heather Brown