Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Saint Blase

Many people today head to churches to have their throats blessed on the occasion of the feast of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr. St Blase lived in the 4th century and was a physician, and bishop of Sebastea (modern Sivas, Turkey). He was martyred by being beaten, attacked with iron carding combs, and beheaded. In iconography, Blase is often shown with the instruments of his martyrdom, steel combs. The similarity of these instruments of torture to wool combs led to his adoption as the patron saint of wool combers in particular, and the wool trade in general. He may also be depicted with crossed candles. Such crossed candles are used for the blessing of throats on the feast day of Blase, the day after Candlemas on the Roman Catholic calendar of saints. Blase is traditionally believed to intercede in cases of throat illnesses. He was particularly remembered for dislodging a fish-bone in the throat of a young child, a miracle just before his death which led to many invoking prayers to him for protection of all throat ailments.
“Through the intercession of Saint Blase, Bishop and Martyr, may God protect you from all ailments of the throat and every other illness, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN”

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