On February 3rd, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Blaise.
St. Blaise was born into a wealthy Christian family in Armenia. He was trained as a physician before becoming a priest. Later he was ordained as the Bishop of Sebastea. When a wave of Christian persecution began, God instructed St. Blaise to hide in a desert cave.
While he was in hiding, birds miraculously brought him food, and sick men came to him to be healed. The king's hunters eventually discovered his cave and found it surrounded by a myriad of wild animals who came to the saint to be blessed.
Recognizing him as the local bishop, the hunters took Blaise into custody. As he went with them he continued to preach and perform miracles along the way: he healed a boy choking to death on a bone, and commanded a wolf to release a captured pig that belonged to a poor woman.
When Blaise was sentenced to be starved to death, the woman killed her pig to feed St. Blaise in prison. He was eventually martyred under the reign of Licinius, his body torn with wool combs before he was beheaded.
St. Blaise is known as the patron saint of throat ailments, physicians, woolcombers, and wild animals. His feast day is often commemorated by the Blessings of Throats.
Almighty and Eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy divine Son.
Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saving, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen.
Prayer in Honor of St. Blaise
O GOD, deliver us through the intercession of Thy holy bishop and martyr Blase, from all evil of soul and body, especially from all ills of the throat; and grant us the grace to make a good confession in the confident hope of obtaining Thy pardon, and ever to praise with worthy lips Thy most holy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Invocation of St. Blaise
St. Blaise, gracious benefactor of mankind and faithful servant of God, who for the love of our Savior did suffer so many tortures with patience and resignation; I invoke thy powerful intercession. Preserve me from all evils of soul and body. Because of thy great merits God endowed thee with the special grace to help those that suffer from ills of the throat; relieve and preserve me from them, so that I may always be able to fulfill my duties, and with the aid of God's grace perform good works. I invoke thy help as special physician of souls, that I may confess my sins sincerely in the holy sacrament of Penance and obtain their forgiveness. I recommend to thy merciful intercession also those who unfortunately concealed a sin in confession. Obtain for them the grace to accuse themselves sincerely and contritely of the sin they concealed, of the sacrilegious confessions and communions they made, and of all the sins they committed since then, so that they may receive pardon, the grace of God, and the remission of the eternal punishment. Amen.
My LORD and my God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.
Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.