Saint Blaise, évêque et martyr
Le culte de Saint Blaise, évêque de Sébaste en Arménie et martyr (vers 320), se répandit en Occident à partir du Xème siècle en raison des miracles que lui attribuait sa légende. De nombreuses églises ont été mises sous son patronage.
Saint Blaise de Sébaste
Martyr en Arménie (+ 316)
Il naquit, vécut et mourut, dit-on, en Arménie.
Il était médecin quand il fut choisit comme évêque de Sébaste. Il fit d'une caverne du mont Argée sa résidence épiscopale et y guérissait aussi bien les hommes que les bêtes sauvages. Ce pourquoi il fut remarqué par le gouverneur de la Cappadoce qui avait besoin d'animaux sauvages qu'il devait livrer pour les jeux du cirque. Il fit arrêter saint Blaise et voulut le noyer dans un étang. Ce qui ne fut pas possible. Blaise marchait sur les eaux. Revenu sur la berge, il fut décapité.
Illustration: Saint Blaise devant le gouverneur romain - scène de la vie de saint Blaise, évêque de Sébaste en Arménie, martyr sous le règne de l'empereur Licinius (IVe siècle). Vitrail de la région de Soissons, début du XIVe siècle.
A lire: 'De St Blaise à Jean Cocteau: le chemin de la simplicité' -
diocèse de Metz.
L'église Saint-Eucaire de Metz (quartier Outre-Seille) est chaque année le cadre du traditionnel pèlerinage de la Saint Blaise. Près de 4 000 personnes y assistent, venant vénérer les reliques de saint Blaise, sorties exceptionnellement le jour de la fête de son martyr. Plus de 10 000 petits pains sont également bénis à cette occasion.
A Metz, la fête de saint Blaise trouve un nouveau sens. (saint-jacques.info)
"La croix Saint-Blaise a retrouvé sa place (Savigny-sur-Clairis, lYonne.fr, 23 août 2011), érigée en 1120, année où les reliques de saint Blaise ont été ramenées d'Arménie par des pèlerins revenant de Palestine. Saint Blaise a fortement marqué la paroisse au Moyen-âge: une source, une croix et une maison portent alors son nom. Les pèlerins qui se rendaient à Saint-Jacques de Compostelle, vénéraient particulièrement saint Blaise, dont on retrouve l'évocation sur de très nombreuses étapes. Savigny en fait partie."
- L'église de Mazille en Saône et Loire est dédiée à Saint Blaise de Sébaste.
Un internaute nous écrit: "il sauva miraculeusement un enfant mourant d'un œdème à la gorge dû à une arête de poisson."
Mémoire de saint Blaise, évêque de Sébaste en Arménie et martyr, qui souffrit pour le nom de chrétien. La tradition place son martyre sous l'empereur Licinius, vers 320.
Martyrologe romainSOURCE : https://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/553/Saint-Blaise-de-Sebaste.html
Saint Blaise, Évêque de Sébaste en Arménie, participa
à l’œuvre de rédemption du Sauveur. « Les souffrances du Christ abondent
en lui » et après une vie de rude pénitence passée au milieu des bêtes
féroces dans une caverne du Mont Argée, il donna sa vie pour Jésus ».
Ayant subi sous Licinien les plus atroces tourments,
il eut ensuite la tête tranchée en l’an 316.
Comme le Rédempteur, saint Blaise guérit les corps en
même temps que les âmes ; aussi son culte fut-il toujours très populaire.
C’est ainsi qu’ayant sauvé la vie à un enfant qui se mourait parce qu’une arête
prise dans son gosier l’étouffait, l’Église lui reconnaît « la prérogative
de guérir toutes les affections de la gorge » (Rituel romain :
Bénédiction des cierges en la fête de saint Blaise, évêque et martyr).
Elle bénit à cet effet deux cierges et demande à Dieu,
pour tous ceux dont le cou en sera touché, qu’ils soient délivrés de leurs maux
de gorge ou de tout autre mal par les mérites de la passion de ce saint
C’est l’un des quatorze
« Saints Auxiliaires ». Participons avec saint Blaise aux
souffrances du Rédempteur afin de pouvoir participer avec Lui à Son
Saint Blaise fut l’un des Saints autrefois les plus
populaires et les plus célèbres par l’efficacité de leur intercession. D’abord
très habile médecin, et en même temps très vertueux Chrétien, il devint Évêque
de Sébaste, en Arménie, par le choix du peuple, qui l’entourait d’une grande
Mais saint Blaise, inspiré de Dieu, quitta bientôt son
siège épiscopal pour s’enfuir sur une montagne solitaire ; il y avait pour
compagnie les bêtes fauves qui venaient chaque jour visiter et caresser l’homme
de Dieu, et recevoir, avec sa bénédiction, la guérison de leurs maux. Il fut
rencontré en son désert par des païens qui, surpris de trouver un homme
familièrement entouré de lions, de tigres, de loups et d’ours, allèrent
raconter cette nouvelle au gouverneur.
Saint Blaise saisi peu de temps après comme Chrétien,
jusque dans son antre sauvage, exprima sa joie profonde, à la pensée de
souffrir pour Jésus-Christ. Arrivé devant le gouverneur : « Insensé,
lui dit-il, penses-tu me séparer de Dieu par tes tourments ? Non, non, le
Seigneur est avec moi, c’est Lui qui me fortifie ! » Les bourreaux le
frappèrent à coup de verges et le jetèrent en prison. Quelques jours après, le
Martyr est rappelé au tribunal :
« —Choisis, Blaise, lui dit le juge, choisis entre deux partis : ou bien adore nos dieux, et alors tu seras notre ami, ou bien, si tu refuses, tu seras livré aux supplices et tu périras d’une mort cruelle.
« —Ces statues que vous adorez, reprend l’Évêque,
ne sont pas des dieux, mais les organes du démon, je ne puis donc les
Le tyran, le voyant inflexible, ordonna de l’attacher
à un chevalet, puis il fit apporter des peignes de fer, et on lui en déchira le
dos et tout le corps. La victime, se tournant toute sanglante vers le
gouverneur, lui dit :
« —Voilà ce que je désirais depuis longtemps :
mon âme arrachée à la terre et mon corps élevé en haut ! Déjà voisin du
Ciel, je méprise toutes les choses de ce monde, je me ris de vous et de vos
supplices. Ces tourments ne dureront qu’un instant, tandis que la récompense
sera éternelle. »
Après de nouveaux interrogatoires inutiles, saint
Blaise fut jeté dans le lac voisin pour y être noyé ; mais il fit le signe
de la croix et marcha sur les eaux comme sur un terrain solide, à la grande
admiration de tous les spectateurs de ce prodige. Le glorieux Martyr eut enfin
la tête tranchée. C’était l’an 316, saint Sylvestre Ier étant pape et
Constantin empereur romain.
Tandis qu’il était en prison, on lui avait amené un
enfant sur le point d’être étouffé par une arête de poisson. Saint Blaise le
guérit. C’est sans doute pour ce fait qu’on l’invoque spécialement pour les
maux de gorge.
BÉNÉDICTION DES CIERGES EN LA FÊTE DE SAINT BLAISE
PRIONS. - Dieu tout-puissant, pour la confession de
qui le glorieux Martyr et Pontife Blaise, ne craignant pas les différents
genres de tourments, a conquis heureusement la palme du martyre ;
Vous qui lui avez accordé, entre autres grâces, de guérir par Votre vertu les
maux de la gorge, nous prions humblement Votre majesté de ne pas considérer nos
fautes mais, apaisé par les mérites et les prières de ce Saint, de daigner
bénir et sanctifier, dans Votre grande bonté, cette créature de cire en la
remplissant de Votre grâce ; afin que tous ceux dont les cous seront
touchés en bonne Foi par cette cire, soient guéris de tous maux de gorge par
les mérites de sa passion. Que dans Votre Sainte Église, guéris et remplis
de joie, ils Vous rendent des actions de grâces et louent Votre Nom
glorieux qui est béni dans les siècles des siècles. Ainsi soit-il.
SOURCE : http://www.cassicia.com/FR/Vie-de-saint-Blaise-eveque-de-Sebaste-et-martyr-Fete-le-3-fevrier-Un-des-14-Saints-Auxiliaires-Benediction-des-cierges-en-la-fete-de-saint-Blaise-Mort-en-316-No_338.htm
SAINT BLAISE *
La passion latine de St Blaise indique le 3 février pour sa mort et c’est à ce jour qu’il apparaît dans les calendriers au IXe siècle, tandis que les byzantins le fêtent le 11.
Kellberg (Niederbayern ). Pfarrkirche St, Blasius (15.Jhdt.): Heiliger Blasius und die 14 Nothelfer - Altarbild (1680) vom früheren barocken Hochaltar.
Saint Blaise and the 14 Holy Helpers. Kellberg (Lower Bavaria). Saint Blaise parish church (15th century)
Dom Pius Parsch, le Guide dans l’année liturgique
SOURCE : http://www.introibo.fr/03-02-St-Blaise-eveque-et-martyr#nh1
Évêque et Martyr (316)
Saint Blaise fut l'un des saints autrefois les plus populaires et les plus célèbres par l'efficacité de leur intercession. D'abord très habile médecin, et en même temps très vertueux chrétien, il devint évêque de Sébaste, en Arménie, par le choix du peuple, qui l'entourait d'une grande estime. Mais Blaise, inspiré de Dieu, quitta bientôt son siège épiscopal pour s'enfuir sur une montagne solitaire; il y avait pour compagnie les bêtes fauves qui venaient chaque jour visiter et caresser l'homme de Dieu, et recevoir, avec sa bénédiction, la guérison de leurs maux.
Il fut rencontré en son désert par des païens qui, surpris de trouver un homme familièrement entouré de lions, de tigres, de loups et d'ours, allèrent raconter cette nouvelle au gouverneur. Blaise saisi peu de temps après comme chrétien, jusque dans son antre sauvage, exprima sa joie profonde, à la pensée de souffrir pour Jésus-Christ. Arrivé devant le gouverneur: "Insensé, lui dit-il, penses-tu me séparer de Dieu par tes tourments? Non, non, le Seigneur est avec moi, c'est Lui qui me fortifie !"
Les bourreaux le frappèrent à coups de verges et le jetèrent en prison. Quelques jours après, le martyr est rappelé au tribunal: "Choisis, Blaise, lui dit le juge, choisis entre deux partis: ou bien adore nos dieux, et alors tu seras notre ami, ou bien, si tu refuses, tu seras livré aux supplices et tu périras d'une mort cruelle. -- Ces statues que tu adores, reprend l'évêque, ne sont pas des dieux, mais les organes du démon, je ne puis donc les adorer."
Le tyran, le voyant inflexible, ordonna de l'attacher à un chevalet, puis il fit apporter des peignes de fer, avec lesquels on lui déchira le dos et tout le corps. La victime, se tournant toute sanglante vers le gouverneur, lui dit: "Déjà voisin du Ciel, je méprise toutes les choses de ce monde; je me ris de vous et de vos supplices. Ces tourments ne dureront qu'un instant, tandis que la récompense sera éternelle."
Après de nouveaux interrogatoires inutiles, Blaise fut jeté dans le lac voisin pour y être noyé; mais il fit le signe de la Croix et marcha sur les eaux comme sur un terrain solide, à la grande admiration de tous les spectateurs de ce prodige. Le glorieux martyr eut enfin la tête tranchée.
Tandis qu'il était en prison on lui avait amené un enfant sur le point d'être étouffé par une arête de poisson. Blaise le guérit. C'est sans doute pour ce fait qu'on l'invoque spécialement pour les maux de gorge.
Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950.
SOURCE : http://www.magnificat.ca/cal/fran/02-03.htm
Physician. Bishop of Sebaste, Armenia. Lived in a cave on Mount Argeus. Healer of men and animals; according to legend, sick animals would come to him on their own for help, but would never disturb him at prayer.
Agricola, governor of Cappadocia, came to Sebaste to persecute Christians. His huntsmen went into the forests of Argeus to find wild animals for the arena games, and found many waiting outside Blaise’s cave. Discovered in prayer, Blaise was arrested, and Agricola tried to get him to recant his faith. While in prison, Blaise ministered to and healed fellow prisoners, including saving a child who was choking on a fish bone; this led to the blessing of throats on Blaise’s feast day.
Thrown into a lake to drown, Blaise stood on the surface and invited his persecutors to walk out and prove the power of their gods; they drowned. When he returned to land, he was martyred by being beaten, his flesh torn with wool combs (which led to his association with and patronage of those involved in the wool trade), and then beheading.
Blaise has been extremely popular for centuries in both the Eastern and Western Churches. In 1222 the Council of Oxford prohibited servile labour in England on his feast. He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers
- against angina
- against bladder diseases
- against blisters
- against coughs
- against dermatitis
- against dropsy
- against eczema
- against edema
- against fever
- against goitres
- against headaches
- against impetego
- against respiratory diseases
- against skin diseases
- against snake bites
- against sore throats
- against stomach pain
- against storms
- against teething pain
- against throat diseases
- against toothaches
- against ulcers
- against whooping cough
- against wild beasts
- angina sufferers
- healthy throats
- pack horses
- brick layers
- construction workers
- farm workers
- hat makers
- musicians who play wind instruments
- shoe makers
- sock makers
- stocking makers
- stone cutters
- stone masons
- wool weavers
- Sint-Blasius-Boekel, Belgium
- Dubrovnik, Croatia
- in Germany
- in Italy
- wool comb representing the item used to torture him
- hermit tending wild animals
- iron comb
- man healing a choking boy
- man with two candles
- two candles
- two crossed candles
- A Garner of Saints, by Allen Banks Hinds, M.A.
- Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
- Book of Saints and Friendly Beasts, by Abbie Farwell Brown
- Catholic Encyclopedia
- Encyclopedia Britannica
- Goffine’s Devout Instructions
- Golden Legend, by Jacobus de Voragine
- Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, by Francis X Weiser, SJ
- Legends of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, by Father Bonaventure Hammer
- Lives of the Saints, by Father Alban Butler
- New Catholic Dictionary
- Pictorial Lives of the Saints
- Saints of the Day, by Katherine Rabenstein
- 365 Rosaries
- 1001 Patron Saints and Their Feast Days, Australian Catholic Truth Society
- Adopt A Spire
- Catholic Cuisine
- Catholic Culture
- Catholic Ireland
- Catholic Lane
- Catholic News Agency
- Catholic Online
- Christian Iconography
- Father Z
- Franciscan Media
- Independent Catholic News
- John Dillon
- Joseph Pronechen
- Patty Knap
- Regina Magazine
- Roman Catholic Saints
- Saint Nook
- Saints for Sinners
- Saints Stories for All Ages
- Whispers in the Loggia
Through the intercession of Saint 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. – blessing of Saint Blaise
- “Saint Blaise“. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 November 2020. Web. 3 February 2021. <https://catholicsaints.info/saint-blaise/>
Bishop and martyr.
The ninth-century martyrologies of Europe in their lists, which are accompanied by historical notices, give on 15 February the name of St. Blasius, Bishop of Sebaste and martyr. The Greek synaxaria mention him under 11 February. In the oldest known recension of the so-called martyrology of St. Jerome the name of St. Blasius does not appear; it is only in the later, enlarged catalogues that he is mentioned. The historical notices concerning him in the above-mentioned martyrologies and synaxaria rest on the legendary Acts. All the statements agree that St. Blasius was Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia and most of the acounts place his martyrdom in the reign of Licinius (about 316). As these reports may rest on old traditions which are bound up with the veneration of the saint in the Church liturgy, they are not to be absolutely rejected.
It can perhaps be assumed that St. Blasius was a bishop and that he suffered martyrdom at the beginning of the fourth century. All the particulars concerning his life and martyrdom which are found in the Acts are purely legendary and have no claim to historical worth. There are besides various recensions of the text of the Acts. 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 St. Blasius was beheaded; the Acts relate also the martyrdom of seven women.
The veneration of the 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 St. 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 St. Blasius in the Black Forest, etc.) claimed to possess some of his relics. He was also one of the Fourteen Holy Martyrs.
In many places on the day of his feast the blessing of St. 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 S. Blasii liberet te Deus a malo gutteris et a quovis alio malo" (May God at the intercession of St. 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 Latin Church his feast falls on 3 February, in the Oriental Churches on 11 February. He is represented holding two crossed candles in his hand (the Blessing of St. Blasius), or in a cave surrounded by wild beasts, as he was found by the hunters of the governor.
Kirsch, Johann Peter. "St.
Blaise." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York:
Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 3 Feb.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Janet Grayson.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.
Copyright © 2020 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Many Catholics might remember Saint Blaise’s feast day because of the Blessing of the Throats that took place on this day. Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said. Saint Blaise’s protection of those with throat troubles apparently comes from a legend that a boy was brought to him who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The boy was about to die when Saint Blaise healed him.
Very few facts are known about Saint Blaise. We believe he was a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred under the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century.
The legend of his life that sprang up in the eighth century tell us that he was born in to a rich and noble family who raised him as a Christian. After becoming a bishop, a new persecution of Christians began. He received a message from God to go into the hills to escape persecution. Men hunting in the mountains discovered a cave surrounded by wild animals who were sick. Among them Blaise walked unafraid, curing them of their illnesses. Recognizing Blaise as a bishop, they captured him to take him back for trial. On the way back, he talked a wolf into releasing a pig that belonged to a poor woman. When Blaise was sentenced to be starved to death, the woman, in gratitude, sneaked into the prison with food and candles. Finally St. Blaise was killed by the governor.
Blaise is the patron saint of wild animals because of his care for them and of those with throat maladies.
SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/saint-blaise/
Neufelden ( Oberösterreich ). Kath. Filialkirche hl. Anna in Steinbruch - Nothelferaltar ( 1680 ): Altargemälde
English: Neufelden ( Upper Austria ). Church of Saint Anne in Steinbruch ( in the quarry ) - Altar of the Fourteen Holy Helpers ( 1680 ): Altar painting
SAINT BLAISE, MARTYR—C. 316
Feast: February 3
It is not known precisely when or where St. Blaise lived, but according to tradition he was a bishop of Sebaste, Armenia, in the early part of the fourth century, and suffered martyrdom under the Roman emperor Licinius, who had commanded the governor of the province, one Agricolaus, to prevent the spread of Christianity in his territory. After this edict had been promulgated, Blaise fled to the mountains and lived in a cave frequented by wild beasts. He used his skill to heal the animals that he found wounded or sick, and when the emperor's hunters, bent on collecting wild animals for the royal games, discovered him in this cave, they carried him off to Agricolaus as a special prize.
On the way, the story goes, they met a poor woman whose pig had been seized by a wolf. At the command of Blaise, the wolf restored the pig to its owner, alive and unhurt. During the course of this journey he also miraculously cured a child who was choking to death on a fishbone. For this reason St. Blaise is often invoked by persons suffering from throat trouble. When he had reached the capital and was in prison awaiting execution, the old woman whose pig he had saved came to see him, bringing two fine wax candles to dispel the gloom of his dark cell. When he was finally killed, he is supposed to have been tortured with an iron comb or rake, and afterwards beheaded. In the West there was no cult honoring St. Blaise prior to the eighth century.
One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, his emblems are an iron comb and a wax taper.
This was taken from "Lives of Saints", Published by John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.
Blaise of Sebaste BM (RM)
(also known as Blase, Blasien, Blasius, Biagio)
Died c. 316. As someone who loves to sing and suffers from frequent sore throats, I always look forward to the feast of Saint Blaise. Since the 16th century, the throats of the faithful are blessed on this day using the sacramental of two crossed or intertwined candles. I hope this is still customary in all Catholic churches. The reason for Blaise's patronage of throats is that he reportedly revived a boy who choked to death on a fishbone (in some versions he raised the already dead boy). The candles used during the blessing are derived from the candles brought to Blaise in prison by the grateful mother. (I also wonder if there is some significance to the candles that were blessed the day before at Candlemas--Feast of the Presentation--being used to bless?) In the acta of Saint Eustratius, who perished in 303 under Diocletian, it is said that Blaise received his relics, deposited them with those of Saint Orestes, and executed every article of his last will and testament. This is all that can be confirmed of Saint Blaise with any accuracy as there is no evidence of a cultus for Blaise prior to the 8th century. According to Blaise's legendary acta, which date no earlier than the 8th century, he was born into a rich and noble family, received a Christian education, and was consecrated a bishop of Sebaste, Cappadocia (now Armenia), while still quite young. Blaise was a physician in Sebaste, as well as bishop. As a doctor Blaise went into every home at all hours of the day and night, knew both the rich and the poor, comforted, cured, and advised them all. As a bishop, he did the same thing.
Here followeth the Life of Saint Blase, and first of his name.
Blase is as much to say as glosing, or it is said as belasius of bela, which is habit,and syor, which is to say, little. And thus he is said glosing by the sweetness of his word,meek by his habit of virtues, and little by humility of manners and of conversation.
Saint Blase was so sweet, holy and humble in manners, that the christian men of Cappadocia of the city of Sebaste chose him to be a bishop. The which when he was bishop saw that Diocletian the emperor made so many persecutions to christian men that Saint Blase sought and would dwell in an hermitage in a ditch, in which place the birds of heaven brought to him meat for to eat. And it seemed to him that they came to serve him and accompany him, and would not depart from him till he had lift up his hands and blessed them. And also sick men came to him and anon were cured and healed. Now it happed that the prince of this region sent his knights to hunt, and they could take nothing. But by adventure they came unto the desert place where Saint Blase was, where they found great multitude of beasts which were about him, of whom they could take none, whereof they were all abashed and showed this to their lord, the which anon sent many knights for him, and commanded to bring him and all the christian men with him. And that night Jesu Christ appeared to him thrice, which said to him: Arise up and make to me sacrifice. Lo! here be the knights that come to fetch thee at the commandment of the prince. And the knights said to him: Come out from this place, the president calleth thee. And Saint Blase answered: My sons, ye be welcome, I see now well that God hath not forgotten me. He went with them and continually preached, and did many miracles tofore them.
There was a woman that had a son dying, in whose throat was a bone of a fish athwart, which estrangled him, and she brought him tofore his feet, praying him that he would make her son whole. And Saint Blase put his hand upon him and made his prayer to God that this child, and all they that demanded benefits of health in his name, that they should be holpen and obtain it, and anon he was whole and guerished.
Another woman there was that was poor which had a swine, which the wolf had borne away, and she humbly prayed to Saint Blase that she might have again her swine. And he began to smile and said: Good woman anger thee not, for thou shalt have again thy swine, and anon the wolf brought again to the woman, which was a widow, her swine.
And anon after he was entered into the city, the prince commanded to put him in prison, and after another day he made him to come tofore him, whom he saluted by fair words, saying to him: Be thou joyful, Blase, the friend of God. Saint Blase answered to him: Be thou joyous right good prince, but call not them gods whom thou worshippest, but fiends, for they be delivered to fire perdurable with them that serve and worship them. Then was the prince much wroth, and made to beat Saint Blase with staves, and after to put him in prison. Then said Saint Blase: O mad man, weenest thou by thy torments and pains to take away from me the love of my God whom I have with me and is my helper? And when this good widow, which by Saint Blase had recovered her swine, heard thereof, she slew it, and the head and the feet with a little bread and a candle, she brought to Saint Blase, and he thanked God and ate thereof, and he said to her that every year she should offer in his church a candle, and know thou that to thee and to all them that so shall do shall well happen to them, and so she did all her life, and she had much great prosperity. After this that the right cruel prince had brought him tofore his gods, and in no wise might make him incline for to adore to their gods, he made him to be hanged on a gibbet, and his body to be torn with combs of iron, and this done he was remitted again to prison. And there were seven women that siewed him, which gathered up the drops of his blood, which women anon were taken, and constrained to sacrifice to their gods. The which said: If thou wilt that we worship thy gods, and that we do to them reverence, send them to the water for to wash and make clean their visages, to the end that we may more cleanlier worship them. Then the prince was right glad and joyous, and anon sent them to the water, and the women took them and threw them in the middle of the stagne or pond, and said: Now shall we see if they be gods. And when the prince heard this he was out of his wit for anger, and smote himself all wroth saying: Wherefore retained not ye our gods that they should not have thrown them in the bottom of the water? The ministers answered:Thou spakest shrewdly to the women, and they cast them into the water. To whom the women said: The very God may not suffer iniquity ne falseness, for if they had been very gods they had well eschewed that they had not been thrown there, and had seen what we would have done. Then the tyrant became wroth and did do make ready lead molten and iron combs, and seven coats of iron burning as hot as fire on that one side, and that other he did do bring smocks of linen cloth and said to them that they should choose which they would. And one of them that had two small children ran hardily and took the smocks of linen cloth and threw them in the furnace for to go after herself if she had failed. And the children said to the mother, leave us not after thee, but right sweet mother, like as thou hast nourished us with thy milk so replenish us with the realm of heaven. Then the tyrant did do hang them, and with hooks and crochets of iron did do tear their flesh and all to-rent it. Of whom the flesh was as white as snow, and for blood they gave out milk. And as they suffered these great torments the angel of God descended from heaven and comforted them, and said to them: Have ye no dread, the worker is good that well beginneth and well endeth, and who deserveth good reward shall have joy, and for his work complete he shall have his merit, and for labour he shall have rest, and that shall be the reward. Then the tyrant did do take them down and did do throw them into the burning furnace, which women, by the grace of God issued without taking harm, and the fire was extinct and quenched. And the tyrant said to them, now leave ye your art of enchantment and adore ye our gods. And they answered: Do that thou hast begun, for we be now called to the kingdom of heaven. Then he commanded that they should be beheaded; and when they should be beheaded they began to adore God kneeling on their knees, saying: Lord God which hast departed us from darknesses, and in to this right sweet light hast brought us, and of us hast made thy sacrifice, receive our souls, and make us to come to the life perdurable, and thus had they their heads smitten off, and sith their souls went to heaven. After this the prince made Saint Blase to be brought before him, and said to him: Hast thou now worshipped our gods or not? Saint Blase answered: Right cruel man I have no dread of thy menaces, do what thou wilt, I deliver to thee my body whole. Then he took him and did him to be cast in to a pond, and anon he blessed the water and the water dried all away, and so he abode there safe. And then Saint Blase said to him, If your gods be very and true gods, let them now show their virtue and might and enter ye hither. Then there entered into it sixty-five persons, and anon they were drowned. And an angel descended from heaven, and said to Saint Blase: Blase go out of this water and receive the crown that is made ready of God for thee. And when he was issued out of the pond the tyrant said to him: Thou hast determined in all manners not for to adore our gods. To whom Saint Blase said: Poor caitiff, know thou that I am servant of God, and I adore not the fiends as ye do. And anon then the tyrant did do smite off his head, and Saint Blase prayed to our Lord tofore his death that whosoever desired his help from the infirmity of the throat, or required aid for any other sickness or infirmity, that he would hear him, and might deserve to be guerished and healed. And there came a voice from heaven to him saying that his petition was granted and should be done as he had prayed. And so then with the two little children he was beheaded about the year of our Lord three hundred and eighty seven.
This martyr, a bishop in Armenia, suffered and died at the beginning of the fourth century. The legends handed down tell us that he was a physician before he became a bishop and that, while in prison, he miraculously cured a little boy who nearly died because of a fishbone in his throat.
The veneration of Saint Blaise was brought to Europe before the ninth century, and he soon became one of the most popular saints of the Middle Ages. Having been a physician, he was now invoked as a helper in sickness and pain, but especially against evils of the throat. Legends of a later date relate how shortly before his death he had asked God for the power of curing all those who would pray to him for help. “And behold, a voice answered from Heaven that his request was granted by the Lord.”
In medieval times many shrines existed in honor of Saint Blaise. In central Europe and in the Latin countries people still are given blessed breads (Saint Blaise sticks: Pan bendito) of which they eat a small piece whenever they have a sore throat. The best-known sacramental in his honor, however, is the “Blessing of Throats” with candles. It has been in use for many centuries and was adopted by the Church as one of its official blessings. The priest holds the crossed candles against the head or throat of the person and says: “Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may the Lord free you from evils of the throat and from any other evil.” In various places of Italy the priests do not use candles but touch the throats of the faithful with a wick dipped into blessed oil while they pronounce the invocation.
Liturgical Prayer – O God who grantest us joy by the annual solemnity of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr: grant also that we may rejoice over his protection, whose birthday we celebrate.
Francis X Weiser, SJ. “Blaise, February 3”. . CatholicSaints.Info. 15 February 2017. Web. 3 February 2021. <https://catholicsaints.info/handbook-of-christian-feasts-and-customs-blaise-february-3/>
Die Bilder der Wallfahrtskirche St. Blasien wurden um 1715 von Mathias Auhuber aus dem nahen Bad Hall geschaffen. Das Gemälde des Hochaltares zeigt den hl. Blasius gemäß seiner Legende mit einer Kerze und der Frau, deren Schwein er ihr durch seine Gebete wieder verschaffte.
The paintings of the pilgrimage church St. Blasius in Adlwang, Upper Austria, were created by Mathias Auhuber around 1715. The altarpiece shows St. Blaise according to his legend with the wife whose pig he has saved.
Saint Blase was born at Sebaste, in Armenia, of which place he was subsequently appointed bishop, on the solicitation of the people, and suffered martyrdom in 316, during the persecution under Licinius. This saint wrought many miracles, and is yet invoked in dangerous diseases of the throat, because he saved the life of a rich widow’s son, who had nearly died in consequence of swallowing a fish-bone. The Church accordingly sanctions a special blessing of throats on his day. Holding the blessed candles near the throat, in the form of a cross, the priest says:
“Through the merits and intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, God deliver thee from all diseases of the throat, and preserve thee from every other evil. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
If we take part in this pious custom of the Church, we should, above all, consider that while we unite our supplications with the prayers of the Church, to be preserved from bodily illness, we ought to guard our souls against sin, particularly sins of the tongue and of the palate, as being more dangerous ills than any that can afflict our bodies.
O God, Who givest us joy by the annual solemnity of Saint Blase, Thy holy bishop and martyr, mercifully grant us, in the fulness of Thy love, that we may rejoice in the protection of him whose festival we today joyfully celebrate. Through Christ our Lord, etc. Amen.
– Goffine’s Devout Instructions
Saint Blase devoted the earlier years of his life to the study of philosophy, and afterwards became a physician. In the practice of his profession he saw so much of the miseries of life and the hollowness of worldly pleasures, that he resolved to spend the rest of his days in the service of God, and from being a healer of bodily ailments to become a physician of souls. The bishop of Sebaste, in Arminia, having died, our Saint, much to the gratification of the inhabitants of that city, was appointed to succeed him. Saint Blase at once began to instruct his people as much by his example as by his words, and the great virtues and sanctity of this servant of God was attested by many miracles. From all parts the people came flocking to him for the cure of bodily and spiritual ills. Agricolaus, Governor of Cappadocia and the lesser Armenia, having begun a persecution by order of the Emperor Licinius, our Saint was seized and hurried off to prison. Whilst on his way there, a distracted mother, whose only child was dying of a throat disease, threw herself at the feet of Saint Blase and implored his intercession. Touched at her grief, the Saint offered up his prayers, and the child was cured; and since that time his aid has often been effectually solicited in cases of a similar disease. Refusing to worship the false gods of the heathens, Saint Blase was first scourged; his body was then torn with hooks, and finally he was beheaded in the year 316.
Reflection – There is no sacrifice which, by the aid of grace, human nature is not capable of accomplishing. When Saint Paul complained to God of the violence of the temptation, God answered, “My grace is sufficient for thee, for power is made perfect in infirmity.”
This is the story of a Saint who loved all animals and whom the animals therefore loved in return.
Saint Blaise was the son of wealthy people in Sebaste, a town of Armenia near Turkey, in the days when it was fashionable to be a heathen. He was not like the other boys, his playmates, for he was a Christian, full of sympathy for everything that lived. More than all things he longed to learn how to help the creatures that he loved, men and women, the children, the dumb beasts, and everything that suffered and was sick. So he went to school and studied medicine; and by and by he grew up to be a wise man with a big, tender heart. Every one loved him, for he did great good among the people of his village, tending their children and healing their cattle and household pets.
Nor did he neglect even the wild beasts. For Saint Blaise loved to go away into the woods and fields where he could learn about the untamed creatures and teach them to be his friends. The birds and beasts and fishes grew to love him because he never hurt them, but talked to them kindly and healed them when they were sick or wounded. The timid creatures were brave in his presence, and the fierce ones grew tame and gentle at the sound of his voice. The little birds brought him food, and the four-footed beasts ran errands and were his messengers. The legends say that they used to visit him in his forest home, which was a cave on Mount Argus near the city of Sebaste. Every morning they came to see how their master was faring, to receive his blessing and lick his hands in gratitude. If they found the Saint at his prayers they never disturbed him, but waited in a patient, wistful group at the door of his cave until he rose from his knees.
One day a poor woman came to him in great distress because a wolf had carried away her pig. Saint Blaise was sorry to hear that one of his friends had done so wicked a thing. He bade the woman go home, and said he would see what could be done. He called the Wolf up to him and shook his head gravely at the culprit.
“You bad Wolf!” he said. “Don’t you know that the Pig was a friend of mine, too? He is not handsome, but he is nice and plump; and he is the only pig of a poor, lone woman. How could you be so selfish? Go straight home and get my friend Pig, and drive him down to the woman’s house.” Then the Wolf went sheepishly away, and did what the good Saint had told him to do; for the Pig had not yet been made into pork. And when the poor woman saw the Pig run grunting into her yard, chased by the repentant Wolf, she fell upon his fat neck and wept tears of joy. Then the Wolf went back to Saint Blaise, who told him he was a good wolf, and gave him a dish of fresh milk to cool his throat.
Saint Blaise was chosen Bishop by the Christians who loved him for his piety and his charity. And the wood-beasts were glad of this honor done to their dear master. But the poor creatures did not know how dangerous it was to be a Christian in those days, and especially to be a Bishop who had much power over the people. For the heathen were jealous of him, and feared that he would make all the people Christians too, when they saw the wonderful cures which his medicines made. But they could not find him, for he was living in his forest cave.
This was 316 years after Christ’s birth, and the cruel Emperor Licinius was causing many Christians to be killed. Agricola was the governor whom Licinius had appointed in Sebaste, and he sent his soldiers into the mountains to get some wild beasts for the games in the arena, where the Christians were to be put to death. But they could not find any beasts at all in the mountains, or in the fields, or valleys, or woods. They thought this very strange. But by and by they came by accident to the cave where Saint Blaise lived.
And there were the animals, all the fierce beasts whom they feared; lions, tigers, leopards, bears, and wolves, making their morning call upon Saint Blaise and sitting quietly about. In the midst was Blaise himself, praying so earnestly that he never noticed the men with nets and spears who had come to entrap the beasts. Although the creatures were frightened they did not move nor growl for fear of disturbing their master, but kept quite still, glaring at the soldiers with big yellow eyes. The men were so astonished at the sight that they stole away without capturing an animal or saying a word to Saint Blaise, for they thought he must be Orpheus or some heathen god who charmed wild beasts. They went to the Governor and told him what they had seen, and he said,
“Ho! I know he is a Christian. The Christians and the beasts are great friends. Go and bring him to me straightway.”
And this time the soldiers went in the afternoon when the animals were taking their after-dinner nap. So they found Saint Blaise quite alone, again at his devotions. They told him he must come with them; but instead of being frightened he said joyfully, “I am ready, I have long expected you.” For he was a holy man willing to die for his faith, and holy men often knew what was going to happen to them.
It was on his way to prison that Saint Blaise cured his last patient, a sick child whose mother brought him to the holy man’s feet begging help. The child had swallowed a bone and was choking to death, poor little thing. But Saint Blaise touched the baby’s throat and the trouble was gone. This is why in olden times people with sore throats always prayed to Saint Blaise to make them well.
The good Bishop was put in prison. And after that they tortured him, trying to make him promise not to be a Christian any longer. But Saint Blaise refused to become a heathen and to sacrifice to the gods. And so they determined that he must die. They would have put him in the arena with the wild beasts, but they knew that these faithful creatures would not harm their friend. The beasts could not save him from the cruel men, but at least they would not do anything to hurt him. Those which were still left in the forest howled and moaned about his deserted cave, and went sniffing and searching for him everywhere, like stray dogs who have lost their master. It was a sad day for the wood-creatures when Saint Blaise was taken from them forever.
The soldiers were told to drown Saint Blaise in the neighboring lake. But he made the sign of the Cross as they cast him from the boat, and the water bore him up, so that he walked upon it as if it were a floor, just as Christ did once upon the sea of Galilee. When the soldiers tried to do the same, however, thinking to follow and recapture him, they sank and were drowned. At last of his own free will Saint Blaise walked back to the shore, clothed in light and very beautiful to look upon; for he was ready and eager to die. He let the heathen seize him, and soon after this was beheaded.
In very old times it used to be the custom in England on the third of February to light great bonfires on all the hills, blazes in honor of his name.
And we can well believe that all the little animals came out of their dens and burrows and nests at the sight of these fires, and thought with loving hearts of the dear old Saint who so many years ago used to be kind to their ancestors, the beasts in the forests of Armenia.
– from , by Abbie Farwell Brown, illustrations by Fanny Y. Cory, 1900
Statue of St. Blasius on the facade of the cathedral of Dubrovnik
Saint Blase was born at Sebaste, Armenia. He became a physician, but at the same time devoted himself zealously to the practice of his Christian duties. His virtuous conduct gained for him the esteem of the Christian clergy and people to such a degree, that he was elected bishop of his native city. Henceforth he devoted himself to ward off the dangers of soul from the faithful, as he had hitherto been intent on healing their bodily ills. To all, he was a shining example of virtue.
During the reign of Emperor Licinius a cruel persecution of Christians broke out. The persecutors directed their fury principally against the bishops, well knowing that when the shepherd is stricken the flock is dispersed. Listening to the entreaties of the faithful, and mindful of the words of Our Lord, “When they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another” (Matthew 10:23), Saint Blase hid himself in a cave. But one day the prefect Agricola instituted a chase, and his party discovered the holy bishop and brought him before their master.
St. Blase remained steadfast in the Faith, and by its able confession and defense attracted the attention of the attendants at his trial. The cruel tyrant had him bound and tortured with iron combs. After suffering these torments with great patience and meekness, the saint was cast into prison. He was kept there a long time, because the prefect hoped to exhaust his powers of endurance, and to bring him to sacrifice to the idols. His jailer permitted the holy bishop to receive visitors in his prison, and many sick and suffering availed themselves of this privilege. He cured some of them and gave good advice to others.
One day a mother brought to him her boy, who, while eating, had swallowed a fishbone, which remained in his throat, and, causing great pain, threatened suffocation. Saint Blase prayed and made the sign of the cross over the boy, and behold, he was cured. For this reason the saint is invoked in throat troubles.
At length the holy bishop was again brought before the judge and commanded to sacrifice to the idols. But he said: “Thou art blind, because thou art not illuminated by the true light. How can a man sacrifice to idols, when he adores the true God alone? I do not fear thy threats. Do with me according to thy pleasure. My body is in thy power, but God alone has power over my soul. Thou seekest salvation with the idols; I hope and trust to receive it from the only true and living God whom I adore.”
Then the prefect sentenced him to death. Saint Blase was beheaded, suffering death for the Faith February 3, 316.
Saint Blase gave us a glorious example of fortitude in the confession of the Faith. According to the teaching of Saint Paul, confession of the Faith is necessary for our salvation. He says, “For if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart we believe unto justice, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9,10). We are, therefore, not permitted to be silent, much less to agree, when our Faith, and whatever is connected therewith, as the sacraments, ceremonies, priests, etc., are ridiculed and reviled. Parents especially must be most careful in speaking of these subjects before their children and servants, and do so only with due reverence.
On the contrary, we must confess our Faith, and if necessary, defend it against all attacks. Often one serious word will suffice to silence a calumniator of the Faith and cause him to blush. We must confess our Faith not only in the bosom of our family, but also in public. We must let our fellow-men know that we are true Catholics, who adhere to our Faith from conviction, without regard to what others say of us, or how they judge us, remembering the words of Our Lord, “Every one, therefore, that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).
It was remarked above that Saint Blase is the patron invoked in throat troubles. Therefore the Church, on his feast, February 3, gives a special blessing, at which she prays over those receiving it: “By the intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver thee from all ills of the throat and from all other ills; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” Do not neglect to receive this blessing, if you have the opportunity. The blessings of the Church are powerful and effective, for she is God’s representative on earth. Therefore her blessing is God’s blessing, and is always effective, except we ourselves place an obstacle in its way.
Prayer of the Church
O God, who dost rejoice us through the memory of Thy blessed bishop and martyr Blase: graciously grant us, that we, who honor his memory, may experience his protection. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
– from by Father Bonaventure Hammer, 1908
Catturato dai Romani fu picchiato e scorticato vivo con dei pettini di ferro, quelli che venivano usati per cardare la lana, ed infine decapitato per aver rifiutato di abiurare la propria fede in Cristo. Si tratta di un Santo conosciuto e venerato tanto in Occidente, quanto in Oriente. Il suo culto è molto diffuso sia nella Chiesa Cattolica che in quella Ortodossa.
Nella sua città natale, dove svolse il suo ministero vescovile, si narra che operò numerosi miracoli, tra gli altri si ricorda quello per cui è conosciuto, ossia, la guarigione, avvenuta durante il periodo della sua prigionia, di un ragazzo da una lisca di pesce conficcata nella trachea. Tutt’oggi, infatti, il Santo lo si invoca per i “mali alla gola”.
Inoltre San Biagio fa parte dei quattordici cosiddetti santi ausiliatori, ossia, quei santi invocati per la guarigione di mali particolari. Venerato in moltissime città e località italiane, delle quali, di molte, è anche il santo patrono, viene festeggiato il 3 febbraio in quasi tutta la penisola italica.
È tradizione introdurre, nel mezzo della celebrazione liturgica, una speciale benedizione alle “gole” dei fedeli, impartita dal parroco incrociando due candele (anticamente si usava olio benedetto). Interessanti sono anche alcune tradizioni popolari tramandatesi nel tempo in occasione dei festeggiamenti del Santo. Chi usa, come a Milano, festeggiare in famiglia mangiando i resti dei panettoni avanzati appositamente a Natale, e chi prepara dei dolci tipici con forme particolari, che ricordano il santo, benedetti dal parroco e distribuiti poi ai fedeli. A Lanzara, una frazione della provincia di Salerno, per esempio, è tradizione mangiare la famosa “polpetta di San Biagio”.
Nella città di Salemi, invece, si narra che nel 1542 il Santo salvò la popolazione da una grave carestia, causata da un’invasione di cavallette che distrusse i raccolti nelle campagne, intercedendo ed esaudendo le preghiere del popolo che invocava il suo aiuto (san Biagio, infatti, oltre che essere protettore dei “mali della gola” è anche protettore delle messi); da quel giorno a Salemi, ogni anno il 3 di febbraio, si festeggia il Santo preparando i cosiddetti “cavadduzzi”, letteralmente “cavallette”, per ricordare il miracolo, e i “caddureddi” (la cui forma rappresenta la “gola”), che sono dei piccoli pani preparati con acqua e farina, benedetti dal parroco e distribuiti poi ai fedeli. Dal 2008 inoltre, sempre a Salemi, viene organizzata, con la collaborazione di tutte le scuole e associazioni della città, una spettacolare rappresentazione del “miracolo delle cavallette” che si conclude con l’arrivo alla chiesa del Santo per deporre i doni e farsi benedire le “gole”.
A Cannara, invece, un comune della provincia di Perugia, i festeggiamenti del Santo sono occasione per sfidarsi in antichi giochi di abilità popolani come, ad esempio, il simpatico gioco, attestato già nel XVI secolo, del “Ruzzolone”, ossia, far rotolare più a lungo possibile delle forme di formaggio per le vie del centro storico, o la famosa corsa dei sacchi e molti altri giochi ancora, per concludersi con la solenne processione con la statua del Santo accompagnati dalla banda musicale del posto.
A Fiuggi, invece, la sera prima, si bruciano nella piazza del paese davanti al municipio le “stuzze”, delle grandi cataste di legna a forma piramidale, in ricordo del miracolo avvenuto nel 1298 che vide San Biagio far apparire delle finte fiamme nella città, tanto da indurre le truppe nemiche, che attendevano fuori le mura pronte ad attaccare, a ripiegare pensando d’esser state precedute dagli alleati.
Le reliquie di San Biagio sono custodite nella Basilica di Maratea, città di cui è santo protettore: vi arrivarono nel 723 all’interno di un’urna marmorea con un carico che da Sebaste doveva giungere a Roma, viaggio poi interrotto a Maratea, unica città della Basilicata che si affaccia sul Mar Tirreno, a causa di una bufera.
Si racconta che la le pareti della Basilica, e più avanti anche la statua a lui eretta nel 1963 in cima alla Basilica, stillarono una specie di liquido giallastro che i fedeli raccolsero e usarono per curare i malati. Papa Pio IV nel 1563, allora vescovo, riconobbe tale liquido come “manna celeste”.
Non a caso a Maratea il Santo assume una valenza particolare e viene festeggiato per ben 2 volte l’anno; il 3 febbraio, come di consueto, e il giorno dell’anniversario della traslazione delle reliquie, dove i festeggiamenti durano 8 giorni, dal primo sabato di maggio fino alla seconda domenica del mese.
Vescovo, dunque. Governava, si ritiene, la comunità di Sebaste d’Armenia quando nell’Impero romano si concede la libertà di culto ai cristiani: nel 313, sotto Costantino e Licinio, entrambi “Augusti”, cioè imperatori (e pure cognati: Licinio ha sposato una sorella di Costantino). Licinio governa l’Oriente, e perciò ha tra i suoi sudditi anche Biagio. Il quale però muore martire intorno all’anno 316, ossia dopo la fine delle persecuzioni. Perché?
Non c’è modo di far luce. Il fatto sembra dovuto al dissidio scoppiato tra i due imperatori-cognati nel 314, e proseguito con brevi tregue e nuove lotte fino al 325, quando Costantino farà strangolare Licinio a Tessalonica (Salonicco). Il conflitto provoca in Oriente anche qualche persecuzione locale – forse ad opera di governatori troppo zelanti, come scrive lo storico Eusebio di Cesarea nello stesso IV secolo – con distruzioni di chiese, condanne dei cristiani ai lavori forzati, uccisioni di vescovi, tra cui Basilio di Amasea, nella regione del Mar Nero.
Per Biagio i racconti tradizionali, seguendo modelli frequenti in queste opere, che vogliono soprattutto stimolare la pietà e la devozione dei cristiani, sono ricchi di vicende prodigiose, ma allo stesso tempo incontrollabili. Il corpo di Biagio è stato deposto nella sua cattedrale di Sebaste; ma nel 732 una parte dei resti mortali viene imbarcata da alcuni cristiani armeni alla volta di Roma. Una improvvisa tempesta tronca però il loro viaggio a Maratea (Potenza): e qui i fedeli accolgono le reliquie del santo in una chiesetta, che poi diventerà l’attuale basilica, sull’altura detta ora Monte San Biagio, sulla cui vetta fu eretta nel 1963 la grande statua del Redentore, alta 21 metri.
Dal 1863 ha assunto il nome di Monte San Biagio la cittadina chiamata prima Monticello (in provincia di Latina) e disposta sul versante sudovest del Monte Calvo. Numerosi altri luoghi nel nostro Paese sono intitolati a lui: San Biagio della Cima (Imperia), San Biagio di Callalta (Treviso), San Biagio Platani (Agrigento), San Biagio Saracinisco (Frosinone) e San Biase (Chieti). Ma poi lo troviamo anche in Francia, in Spagna, in Svizzera e nelle Americhe... Ne ha fatta tanta di strada, il vescovo armeno della cui vita sappiamo così poco.
Autore: Domenico Agasso