Feast of Saint Blase (Blaise, Blasius)
martyrologies of Europe in their
lists, which are accompanied by historical notices, give on
15 February the name of Saint Blasius, Bishop of Sebaste and
martyr. The Greek synaxaria mention him under
In the oldest known recension of the so-called
martyrology of Saint Jerome the name of
Saint Blasius does not appear; it is only in the later, enlarged catalogues that he is
mentioned. All the statements agree that Saint Blasius was Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia
and most of the accounts place his
martyrdom in the reign of Licinius (about
It can perhaps be assumed that Saint Blasius was a bishop and that he
at the beginning of the fourth century. All the particulars concerning his life and
martyrdom are purely legendary. According to the legend, Blasius was a physician at
Sebaste before he was raised to the Episcopal see. At the time of the persecution under
Licinius he was taken prisoner at the command of the governor, Agricolaus. The hunters of
the governor found him in the wilderness in a cave to which he had retired and while in
prison he performed a wonderful cure of a boy who had a fishbone in his throat and who was
in danger of choking to death. After
suffering various forms of
torture Saint Blasius was
veneration of this Oriental saint was brought at an early date into Europe, as is shown by
the recitals in the historical martyrologies of the
ninth century, and the Latin recension
of the legend of Saint Blasius- so that Blasius became one of the most popular saints of
the Middle Ages. The actual reason for the unusual veneration has not yet been made clear.
Most probably one ground was that according to the legend he was a physician and wonderful
cures were ascribed to him; for this reason the faithful sought his help and intercession
when ill. Numberless churches and altars were dedicated to him and many localities
(Taranto, Ragusa, the Abbey of Saint Blasius in the Black Forest, etc.) claimed to possess
some of his relics. He was also one of the
Martyrs. In many places on the day of his feast the blessing
of Saint Blasius is given: two candles are consecrated, generally by a prayer, these are
then held in a crossed position by a priest over the heads of the faithful or the people
are touched on the throat with them. In other places oil is consecrated in which the wick
of a small candle is dipped and the throats of those present are touched with the wick. At
the same time the following blessing is given-.
"Per intercessionem Saint Blasii liberet te Deus a malo gutteris et a
quovis alio malo"
(May God at the intercession of Saint Blasius preserve you from
throat troubles and every other evil).
In some dioceses is
added: "in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus"
and the priest makes the sign of the cross over the
faithful. In the Roman Church his feast falls on
in the Orthodox Churches on
February. He is represented holding two crossed candles in his hand (the Blessing of Saint Blasius), or in a cave surrounded by wild beasts, as he was found by the hunters of the
Novena in Honor of Saint Blaise
and Eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I
prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy.
Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy heavenly light and inflame my
heart with the fire of Thy divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and
merits of the saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate,
like him, the life of Thy divine Son.
Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits
and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place
before Thee, devoutly saving, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation
of my soul.
Prayer in honor of Saint Blaise
GOD, deliver us through the intercession of Thy holy bishop and martyr Blaise, from all
evil of soul and body, especially from all ills of the throat; and grant us the grace to
make a good confession in the confident hope of obtaining Thy pardon, and ever to praise
with worthy lips Thy most holy name. Through Christ our Lord.
Invocation of Saint Blaise
Blaise, gracious benefactor of mankind and faithful servant of God, who for the love of
our Savior did suffer so many tortures with patience and resignation; I invoke thy
powerful intercession. Preserve me from all evils of soul and body. Because of thy great
merits God endowed thee with the special grace to help those that suffer from ills of the
throat; relieve and preserve me from them, so that I may always be able to fulfill my
duties, and with the aid of God's grace perform good works. I invoke thy help as special
physician of souls, that I may confess my sins sincerely in the holy sacrament of Penance
and obtain their forgiveness. I recommend to thy merciful intercession also those who
unfortunately concealed a sin in confession. Obtain for them the grace to accuse
themselves sincerely and contritely of the sin they concealed, of the sacrilegious
confessions and communions they made, and of all the sins they committed since then, so
that they may receive pardon, the grace of God, and the remission of the eternal
LORD and my God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death
of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother,
Mary ever virgin, and of all the saints, particularly with those of the Holy Helper in
whose honor I make this novena.
Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy
love, and graciously hear my prayer.
[End of Novena to Saint Blaise]
Prayers to Saint Blaise
O glorius Saint Blaise, who by thy martydom didst leave to
the Church a precious witness to the faith, obtain for us the grace to preserve within
ourselves this divine gift, and to defend, without human respect, both by word and
example, the truth of that same faith, which is so wickedly attacked and slandered in
these our times. Thou who didst miraculously restore a little child when it was at the
point of death by reason of affliction of the throat, grant us thy mighty protection in
like misfortunes; and, above all, obtain for us the grace of Christian mortification
together with a faithful observance of the precepts of the Church, which may keep us from
offending Almighty God.
Dear Bishop and lover of souls, you willingly bore heavy
crosses in faithful imitation of Jesus. Similarly, with Christlike compassion,
you cured many sufferers. Then after undergoing horrible tortures you died
as a martyr for Christ. Obtain a cure for these (name
them here) ills if this is agreeable to God.
Lord, hear Your people through the intercession of Saint
Blase. Help us to enjoy peace in this life and find refuge in the next.