Saints and Holy People

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Saint Blaise (d. 316)

Saint Blaise (d. 316)

Patron saint of sufferers from throat diseases and of wool combers; one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers

Feast day: February 3

Saint Blaise was born and was martyred in what is now Turkey. Reliable historical sources are slim on the life of Saint Blaise. He is believed to have been a doctor who was ordained a priest and then was consecrated a bishop. The most famous legend surrounding Blaise is that he healed a boy choking on a fish bone.

Blaise is honored as a martyr. The Church celebrates the feast of Saint Blaise on February 3 with the blessing of throats. This is the day after the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple (Candlemas Day) when new candles are blessed for the year. (The blessing of candles may have come about based on the Canticle of Simeon in the Gospel for the Presentation, naming the infant Jesus as "A light of revelation for the Gentiles.")

Because Blaise's feast is the day after Candlemas, it is the custom to bless throats on his feast day. The blessing of Saint Blaise is given with two candles held or tied together and touching the throat of the person being blessed. (From Exploring Saints and Feast Days with Young Adolescents [Saint Mary’s Press]) 

(Image @Zvonimir Atletic/