Who is St. Blaise?
From the book of the Doctor of the Church, St Alphonsus de Liguori’s The Victories of the Martyr. St. Blaise’s story was short, but it’s message and events were as inspiring and powerful.
He was born in Sebaste, Armenia. He was good in his studies in philosophy, and also studied medicine. His attention to service to God was always there and it was evident also in helping the sick and the needy with his knowledge.
The bishop in his place died and he was chosen to take its place because of his remarkable virtue, skills and learnings.
An Emperor Licinius sent Agricolaus, a governor from Cappadocia to Sebaste to persecute and put to death Christians of the city. He would feed to wild beast or put to torture those who will defy his commandments to offer to their idols.
The bishop was already retiring in a cave in Mount Argeus, when Agricolaus men witnessed multitudes of beast around the saint’s cave with the saint in the midst of them. They reported the astonishing sight to the governor and he asked them to bring the bishop to him. When they summoned him to the Agricolaus’ order, he gladly accepted and even said. “Let us go to shed our blood for Jesus Christ.”
The arrest spread fast and there were in tears for the holy bishop. Many people gathered around the street to show support and asked for his blessing.
One mother approached him in tears, for her child was nearly expiring because of a small bone struck in its throat. St. Blaise was moved and he blessed the child and prayed to God to give relief to whoever encounter the same ordeal. The child recovered instantly and this is the reason today, St.Blaise is the patron saint for those suffering ailments of the throat.
Agricolaus and St. Blaise argued for the bishop refused to offer to their idols. The governor was enraged by the saint’s sermons regarding their demon gods, for there is only one true Immortal God. He was tortured and lacerated with iron hooks but to no avail. The tyrant was infuriated and ordered he be cast into the lake, but the saint was able to walk upon the waters. He challenged the idolaters to do the same if their gods can do the same for them. Their gods failed them as the idolaters immediately drowned.
St. Blaise went back the land and the furious governor ordered the bishop beheaded.
The holiness and martyrdom of St. Blaise was recognized by many. Different cities take him as their patron saint and honor him like in the republic of Ragusa. He is also known as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.
A lot of us experience ailments and discomforts in our throat. Knowing a virtuous saint like St. Blaise will help aid us. True to its promise and prayer that is said every February 3 during blessing of the throat:
“Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”