Friday, April 16, 2010

Saint Blaise

Feast  Day: February 3
Patron of Throat Illnesses

Only a few facts are known about Saint Blaise.

Saint Blaise was born in to a noble and affluent family who raised him to be a man of God. He spent time studying philosophy and later medicine.

Saint Blaise became the bishop of Sebastea in Armenia during the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century, when a series of persecution began again.  In one of his prayers, he got a message to set off to the mountains so as to escape persecution. He lived in a cave on Mount Argeus but as soon as people found out where he was, they came flocking to him from nearby countries and provinces for the cure of their ailments both spiritual and physical.

He was discovered by the huntsmen when they saw the myriads of people waiting outside the cave while Blaise was praying.  He was arrested, put in prison and was martyred. While in prison, a boy was brought to him who had a fishbone stuck in his throat -this led to the blessing of throats on February 3- Saint Blaise’s feast day.

The blessing of St. Blaise is done by consecrating two candles which are then held in a crossed position by a priest and pressed against the throat or over the head as the following blessing is said: "May God at the intercession of St. Blasius preserve you from throat troubles and every other evil."

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