“If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.” (Jn 15:7)
Today is the feast day of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr.
There is not a lot that we know about Blaise. Most of what we know was written about him some 400 years after his death and are most likely pious legends. However, in them is a kernel of truth: he was a good, holy man who was put to death for his belief in Jesus Christ.
As the story goes, St. Blaise was a bishop. He was known for his holiness and considered a good bishop. Because of religious intolerance, he was forced to flee into the woods and became a hermit. He lived in a cave and made friends with many of the wild animals. One day, hunters were making their way through the woods looking for wild animals for the amphitheater. The hunters came upon the cave in which he was living and saw him kneeling in prayer, surrounded by wild animals of the forest.
As the group of hunters was leading Blaise to prison, the legend tells that a mother came up to him with her child who was choking on a fish bone. Blaise prayed over the child, the bone dislodged, and the child’s life was spared.
The emperor tried to make Blaise recant his belief in Jesus but Blaise refused. He was subsequently tortured yet, after each torture, he would refuse to renounce his faith. Finally, he was beheaded.
Through the years, we have gathered on the feast of St. Blaise to have our throats blessed. “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.”
The world still wants us to recant our belief in Jesus. What will you do?
FAITH ACTION: Pray for strength and courage to live your faith today, even in the midst of the opposition that you might encounter.