The Church has few exact details of the life of Saint Blase (also Blaise, Biago, Sveti Vlaho) but we have the experience of his popularity through the centuries in the churches of the East and West. What we know is that Blase was a physician, the Bishop of Sebaste, Armenia and martyr. The Roman Martyrology tells us that he was beheaded in 316.
The Blessing of Candles on the feast of St Blase can be found here.
The Blessing of Bread, Wine, Water and Fruit for the feast.
From the Golden Legend again:
And when this good widow, which by S. 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 S. 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.
Even after imprisonment, he refused to worship the prince’s gods, and for punishment
his flesh torn by wool combs. He was finally beheaded, martyred along with seven
women and two children.
Today, due to the cure of the boy’s throat when the boy was choking, Saint Blase is patron against diseases or any other trouble of the throat.
The priest will bless two candles in honor of Saint Blase.
How does one form a deacon, priest and bishop to celebrate the ars celebrandi of the sacred Liturgy? Being side-by-side these sacred ministers I am often scandalized by the lack of composure and gravitas in the praying of the Mass and other liturgical rites. Several priests and bishops I know are such poor celebrants of the Mass that I would argue that Mass celebrated so poorly does in fact lead others away from the Church’s worship. And let’s not even speak of the many deacons who have no clue and poor presence in the sanctuary! Two cardinals I’ve seen celebrate the Mass in their cathedrals have the habit of running down the isle and up the stairs into the sanctuary with evident exterior indication of what is about to happen. Another needs a seat belt in the cathedra. Is it too much to ask for beautiful gesture, beautiful music, beautiful words, beautiful art and architecture in the sacred Liturgy? Beauty and prayer also warms interpersonal relations!
In the days
since Christmastide mysteries of faith many theological matters come to mind in
knowing Jesus. All of the spiritual masters tell us that it’s crucially
important for us to come to personally know Jesus Christ, our Lord, in his true
light. The image of Christ as a light is reinforced in the baptismal rites
where we talk about the sacrament bringing us into inexpressible light. It is
also recalled in the Creed. Our enlightenment into the mystery of Jesus’
divinity continually needs our reflection, especially when the gospels of the
Transfiguration and the Resurrection are proclaimed. As Jesus is transfigured
and resurrected, so us: are Children of the Light. We know that Jesus really
lives in the light of the Trinity. There, the ultimate grace given by God the
Father is having Jesus revealed to us in his true Light. The recognition
(awareness) of this grace can only be given to those who are willing to ask for
it: “ask and it will be given to you,” the Lord says.
The Maronite Church
proclaims the joy Christmas and the belief in Christ as Light of the Cosmos at
the Sedro for the Sundays of Epiphany:
You have clothed us with your baptism: the robe of glory and the seal of the
holy Spirit. You have called us to be spiritual children through our second
birth in baptism.
May the Light of Christ, the Risen Lord, continue to be the Light
of our lives every day; May it
never leave any corners of darkness in us untouched; May the forgiveness and
healing his Light brings fully transform us; That we too, the children of the
Church, may truly become the Light of Christ for the world, as we pray before
the altar at the end of our Eucharistic Celebration.