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Saint Blaise (4th Century) - The first known record of his life comes from the medical writings of Aëtius Amidenus, where he is recorded as helping with patients suffering from objects stuck in their throat. Many of the miraculous aspects of St. Blaise's life are written of 400 years after his martyrdom in the "Acts of St. Blaise."

Saint Blaise originally was a physician. He felt called to serve God, and offered himself for ordination. He was ordained a bishop, and became a "physician of souls." He retired to a cave, where he remained in prayer. People often turned to him for healing miracles.

In 316, the governor of Cappadocia and of Lesser Armenia, Agricola, arrested Blaise for being a Christian. On their way to the prison, a woman set her only son, who was chocking to death on a fish bone, at his feet. Blaise cured the child, and though Agricola was amazed, he could not get Blaise to renounce his faith. Agricola beat Blaise with a stick and tore at his flesh with iron combs before beheading him.

In another tale, Blaise was being led to prison in Sebastea, and on the way came across a poor old woman whose pig had been stolen by a wolf. Blaise commanded the wolf return the pig, which it did -alive and uninjured - to the amazement of all!

He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. He is invoked for all throat afflictions(because of the fishbone miracle).

It is customary in many places to bless the throats of the faithful with two candles tied together with a red ribbon to form a cross. The rite of the blessing of throats may take place before or after Mass. The priest or deacon places the candles around the throat of whoever seeks the blessing, using the formula:

"Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you free from every disease of the throat, and from every other disease. In the name of the Father and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Romans 5:1-5 We boast of our afflictions,

knowing that affliction produces endurance,

and endurance, proven character,

and proven character, hope,

and hope does not disappoint,

because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts

through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Hear, O Lord, the supplications your people make

under the patronage of the Martyr Saint Blaise,

and grant that they may rejoice in peace in this present life,

and find help for life eternal.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God, for ever and ever.

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