3 Feb

“Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid.  Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.”  ~ Unknown

Today is the feast of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr.  There is not much known about him but many pious legends survive his time.  He was said to be a healer in his earlier days and later turned his attention to healing souls by becoming a priest and bishop.  The pious act of Blaise states that while on the way to prison for being a Christian, he encountered someone who was choking.  Blaise intervened and the child was saved.

The emperor, though impressed and moved by the healing of a child, nonetheless was enraged by the fact that Blaise would not renounce the faith.  He had Blaise tortured and when that did not make Blaise recant the faith he had Blaise beheaded.

It takes a lot of courage to overcome fear.  I can’t help but think that Blaise must have experienced fear, knowing that he was being hunted and, after being arrested, knowing that he was going to be tortured and put to death.  Fear could easily break a person, even a person of great faith.  But one of the gifts of the Spirit helps to overcome fear:  courage.

We have recounted the story and tradition of Blaise through the centuries and honor one of his last acts — the act of healing someone choking to death — by the blessing of throats.  Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil.  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

FAITH ACTION:  Do not let fear immobilize you today.  Instead, look to God for the courage that you need.