St. Blase- On Fire For the Lord!
Very few facts are known about Saint Blaise. It is believed he was a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred under the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century.
The legend of St. Blaise tells us that he was born into a rich and noble family who raised him as a Christian. He became a bishop. Later, a new persecution of Christians began. He received a message from God to go into the hills to escape persecution. Hunters discovered a cave surrounded by wild animals who were sick. Blaise walked among them unafraid, curing them of their illnesses. The hunters recognized Blaise as a Bishop, so they captured him to take him back for trial. On the way back, he talked a wolf into releasing a pig that belonged to a poor woman. When Blaise was sentenced to be starved to death, the woman, in gratitude, sneaked into the prison with food and candles. Finally, the governor had Blaise killed.
Saint Blase is the patron of physicians, sick cattle, wax- chandlers, woolcombers, and of wild animals because of his care for them and of those with throat maladies. He is invoked against afflictions of the throat .
At the end of Mass today, we went forward and had our throats blessed. This is an ancient tradition of the Church and I am thankful that it is still carried out. Is it superstition, witchcraft or pagan practice? No, it is trusting in the grace and love of Jesus Christ as he continues to hear the prayers of his saints for our benefit! Very cool! I want to avail myself of every possible blessing I can have since I missed so many years of this grace being poured out through the Church. Wonder if I will start to sing better? Hope so! :)
"Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may you be freed of ailments of the throat and every other disease. + In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."