St. Blaise

Friends in Christ, today is the Feast of St. Blaise.
Blaise was the Bishop of Sebaste, Armenia, and he was also a doctor. Because of persecution, he lived in a cave on Mt. Argeus; there, it is said, birds brought him food, and many animals were attracted to him. He would bless them, and cure them of their illnesses.
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One day, some hunters came near, and saw a large herd of animals near the cave; they saw Blaise, and reported it to the governor; he ordered that Blaise should immediately be captured because he was a Christian.
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As the soldiers were bringing him along, he encountered a woman whose pig was being attacked by a wolf; he commanded the wolf to release the pig, which it did at once.
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Brought before the governor, Blaise was told to renounce Jesus Christ, but he refused. He was beaten with clubs, and then put into prison. So there he was, in his gloomy prison, more of a dungeon; but that woman whose pig Blaise had saved – she came to him, and gave him two candles to light up his dark cell. He thanked her, and said: ‘Each year, offer a candle in the Church and all will be well with you.’
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The next day, Blaise was tortured; hung from rafters, his flesh was torn with iron spikes. ‘Either adore the gods of Rome or not, said the governor. He refused, and so was ordered to be thrown into the lake. At that moment, Blaise made the sign of the cross over the lake, and like Christ, he was able to walk on top of the water. Standing there, he said to the crowd: ‘If your gods are really gods, then show their power by walking on the water to me. 65 pagans promptly walked in and drowned. He was then ordered to be beheaded.
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While being taken away, a lady urgently came to him because her son was choking on a fishbone, caught in his throat. Blaise laid hands on him and prayed for the child, and said that anyone who invoked his intercession would be protected from diseases, especially of the throat. The child was instantly cured.
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St. Blaise was martyred in the year 283. Many miracles accompanied his relics, and to this day, we have the blessing of throats on his feast day.  St. Blaise is the patron saint of animals, construction workers, veterinarians, coughs, and throat diseases.

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