“The word of the LORD came to me, saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you. But gird your loins; stand up and tell them all that I command you. Be not crushed on their account, as though I would leave you crushed before them; for it is I this
day who have made you a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of brass, against the whole land: against Judah’s kings and princes, against its priests and people. They will fight against you but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.” ~Jeremiah 1
Dear Parishioners and Friends;
After all Masses this weekend we will offer a Blessing of Throats following the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the Commemoration of St. Blaise.
Coming from a wealthy family, Blaise is said to have received a good Christian education. As a young man, God called Blaise to the vocation of the priesthood. It was not long afterwards that he was appointed Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia, which is now modern Turkey about the fourth century. Blaise was a good and kind Bishop who loved the people he served. He was a true example of holiness and tried to help everyone he met. But these were challenging and dangerous times to be a Christian, let alone serve as a Bishop. So when the governor, Licinius, came into power, he made a special effort to systematically persecute Christians for their faith. For a period of time Blaise was forced to live in a secluded place where he constantly prayed and did penance by himself as a hermit. But even in his solitude, wild animals that were sick or hurt would come to him, and he would heal them. One day a group of hunters discovered Blaise and took him to the governor who ordered that he be sent to prison and beheaded. On his way to prison, people heard the news and began crowding the road to see their beloved bishop for the last time. Bishop Blaise blessed them all, even those who were not Christians. Along the way a desperate mother rushed up to him begging him to save her child choking to death on a fishbone. This kind saint prayed for and blessed the child. The miracle saved the child’s life. While in prison, Bishop Blaise brought many people to believe in Jesus. The terrible torture he suffered could not make him give up his faith in Jesus. He was beheaded in the year 316.
This courageous saint is still remembered after all these years, and reminds us of the gift of our Catholic Faith, even during persecution.
St. Blaise is the patron of those who suffer from afflictions of the throat or who are ill.
May God bless you this week!