Festival of St. Blasius, Bishop and Martyr Feast day February 3rd
St. Blasius (or Blaise) was by tradition a 4th century bishop of Sebaste in Armenia. During a persecution of Christians at the time of the Roman Emperor Licinius, the Christians of Sebaste persuaded him to hide in a cave in the forest surrounding the city.
Injured or sick wild animals came to him in the cave where he cared for them. This eventually led hunters to him and he was captured.
On his way to prison a woman, whose son was choking on a fish bone, brought him to Blasius, who removed the bone from the boy's throat. She provided Blasius with candles and food while he was in prison. He was tortured with sharpened wool combs and eventually beheaded.
He was the saint of animals before St. Francis of Assisi and also the saint of sore throats and wool combers. The Feast day is February 3rd, when services of blessing throats with crossed candles is sometimes held.
He is also patron saint of Dubrovnik after he appeared in a vision to a citizen of that city to warn of an attack by a Venetian war fleet.
To celebrate the festival of St. Blasius the congregation created this display which was used during the Sunday service on 9th February.