Feast Day: February 3
Patron of Throat Illnesses
February 3rd is the Feast Day of St. Blaise. The ceremonial blessing of the throats is credited to him.Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said. Saint Blaise's protection of those with throat troubles apparently comes from a legend that a boy was brought to him who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The boy was about to die when Saint Blaise healed him.
Very few facts are known about Saint Blaise. We believe he was a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred under the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century.
The legend of his life that sprang up in the eighth century tells us that he was born into a rich and noble family who raised him as a Christian.
St. Blaise was a fourth century bishop who lived in Armenia and devotion to him has been popular throughout the ages. Much of what is known of the life of St. Blaise comes from the legends about his life. Historical proof exists that Blaise was martyred for the Faith in his diocese of Sebastea in Armenia in the year 316. The legends surrounding Blaise state that during the persecution of Licinius Blaise was forced into exile into the hills in the backcountry of his diocese. There he lived as a hermit, spending his days in prayer and penance.
The legends say that one of the products of Blaise's holiness was that even the most wild of animals became his companions without causing any harm to him. One day hunters discovered Blaise while seeking wild animals for the amphitheatre and arrested him as a Christian. Blaise was taken to prison.
Prayer to Saint BlaiseMay, Almighty God, through the prayers of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, bless us and protect us from sickness of the throat. Amen.
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