Bishop Salvatore R. Matano of Rochester, N.Y., blesses the throat of Kiersten Ryan, a seventh-grader at St. Mary School in Canandaigua, following a Mass for Catholic school students Feb. 3, the feast of St. Blaise, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester. The blessing invokes the intercession of the fourth-century bishop and martyr credited with saving the life of a boy who was choking on a fish bone. (Mike Crupi/CNS via Catholic Courier)
This image of St. Blaise is displayed at St. Julia Parish in Weston, Massachussets. (CNS)

This bishop and martyr lived in the fourth century in Turkey and Armenia. For a time Blaise lived in a cave to escape persecution.

On his feast the Church recalls a miracle cure associated with him and celebrates the blessing of the throats with candles. Blaise apparently saved the life of a boy who was choking on a fish bone.

The saint said that anyone who lit a candle in his memory would be free of infection, thus candles are used in the traditional throat blessing.

The candles are crossed against the throat, and the following prayer is said:

Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

He is listed among the Fourteen Holy Helpers, saints revered as healers.