Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Saint Blaise Feast Day

I completely forgot that Feb. 3 is the feast day for Saint Blaise along with Saint Ansgar. For those that don't know who Saint Blaise is, he is the patron saint for those suffering from Throat Ailments.

Each year on this day, our throats are blessed at Mass. Because Feb. 3 is also the anniversary of my mother's death, I attended Mass and was pleasantly reminded of the feast and the blessing. Both of our priests were at this daily mass and it gave me goosebumps to see them bless each other.

From This Website - Information on St. Blaise

Saint Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, devoted the early years of his life to the study of philosophy and became a physician. Then, receiving a call from God, he was ordained to the priesthood and made Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia.

At about this time, a new persecution of Christians began under the reign of Licinius. Saint Blaise was told in a message from God to go into the hills to escape this persecution, so that he might minister to the flock. Saint Blaise went into the mountains and took refuge in a cave.

The governor of the region, called Agricolaus, sent men into the hills to hunt Saint Blaise. When these hunters came across the cave, they found it surrounded by wild animals, all suffering from illnesses. Saint Blaise moved about them, healing the animals, and unharmed by them.

The hunters seized Saint Blaise and took him back to the governor. Along the way, Saint Blaise continued to perform miracles. He cured a woman's son, who was choking to death on a fish bone. He persuaded a wild wolf to release a poor woman's pig. In gratitude, this woman followed Saint Blaise and brought him candles and food while he was imprisoned.

Finally, Saint Blaise was ordered executed by the governor, and was beheaded along with seven Christian women. The Roman Catholic date of his feast day is February 3rd, while in the Eastern rite, his feast is celebrated on February 11th. Because of the miracles he performed, devotions to Saint Blaise for healing of throat ailments grew through the centuries and are still performed today.

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