Coughing? Sore Throat? Meet Saint Blaise

My wife and I named our sixth child “Blaise” after Saint Blaise. We often get comments because people think that we gave him an X-Games name like “Blaze” – you know, like a blazing fire.

If you saw our family Christmas video, he’s the little 2-year-old blonde boy with the spiky hair causing all the trouble in the outtakes.

So I’m on a crusade to promote devotion to Saint Blaise. Not only does our saint have a great name, he helps our family with the coughs and sore throats that plague families with little children. February is often a time marked by colds, throat infections, and respiratory illness. The patron saint of throat cures is Saint Blaise.

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Today, many Catholics don’t know of him, but in the medieval era he was arguably one of the most popular saints of Christendom. By the eleventh century, there were 35 churches in Rome dedicated to Saint Blaise! In thirteenth century England, February 3 (the feast of Saint Blaise) was a national holiday on which all work was banned.

Saint Blaise was an Armenian physician who as elected as bishop of Sebaste (modern day Sivas, Turkey). He refused to deny Christ and so he was beaten, scraped with iron carding combs, and finally beheaded in AD 317. He is celebrated as a martyr and bishop on February 3 every year.

Saint Blaise is often depicted with the instruments of his martyrdom, steel combs. He thereby gained the patronage of wool combers and became very popular among English wool traders. Saint Blaise also cured a boy who was dying of a fish-bone stuck in his throat. Blaise is therefore the patron of throats, as well. Traditionally, priests bless the throats of Catholics on his feast day after Holy Mass.

Father Pio Maria Hoffman blessed our throats on the Feast of the Presentation (in anticipation of Saint Blaise) for the Troops of Saint George on our campout for Troop 1 (Prima inter Pares), Troop 31 (three-in-one), and Troop 77 (the Magnanimous 77th). Here’s a photo:

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Here’s a photo of the consecration:

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Father Pio offering the eternal sacrifice of Christ. Pardon the tents in the background.
This Mass was literally “ad orientem” – we used our compasses and set up the altar facing due east – as is the TSG custom.

A special thanks to Father Pio who celebrated such a beautiful and reverent Mass for the Troops of Saint George.

Godspeed,
Taylor

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  • Ms Ryan

    Thanks for this!!!… been coughing for 2 weeks.

  • Maria

    Dr. Marshall…….

    Hallelujah!!! Praise God for St. Blaise!! This journey brings more and more fab information to my newbie mind! As I’m a jazz singer, I’ve constantly suffered with endless throat issues….and they’ve been known to be really bad. This is an answered prayer……Thank you so much!!

    Blessings
    Maria

    • Dr Taylor Marshall

      He’ll be an important friend moving forward!

  • Abbey Trana

    Love this! Our fourth child is named Blaise Michael, after these two powerhouse saints. We also have a Jude, so it seems we have similar taste in Catholic names!

  • Jenny

    Such a timely post for me on a personal note. We just found out that our 7th child is a boy and we Blaise is at the very top of the list! I wondered how people would react to the name; I, too, wondered if people would assume “blaze” like a fire. It is a fantastic name!

    Abbey–Jude is also on our list. Gotta love these fantastic saint names!

  • Dr. Danno

    When I graduated from Veterinary School, I recieved a St. Blaise medal. I knew of the blessing of the throats.
    The association with Veterinarians is that St. Blaise cared for the animals when he was a hermit and the animals protected him while he was praying. True or not, for me this is a great image.

  • Victor

    I certainly do believe that Saint Blaise can cure sore throats but it doesn’t do any harm to use a little salt of the earth to help reality out. In other words if a sore throat occurs, it doesn’t hurt to gargle with a little salt mixed with warm water just in case your faith is not that strong!. :)
    God Bless