Most Catholics have heard the name of Saint Blaise, and probably have even had their throats blessed on or near his feast day (February 3). They might even know that we turn to Saint Blaise (sometimes spelled Blase) to protect us from ailments of the throat because he is said to have healed a boy who was choking on a fish bone.
But did you know that, according to legend (which, alas, is all we know of him), Saint Blaise was a fourth-century bishop of Sebaste, in Armenia, and that he was martyred for the Faith?
As his feast day approaches, I have chosen this Prayer to Saint Blaise as our novena of the week. (Begin praying it on January 25, to finish it on the eve of Saint Blaise's feast day.) In this prayer, we are reminded of Saint Blaise as the patron saint of those with throat troubles, but we also recall his witness to the truth of Christianity and his faithfulness in observing the precepts of the Church, and we ask him to intercede for us, so that we too may defend the Faith against those who attack it.