BLASE (BLAISE) (Saint) Bishop, Martyr (February 3) (4th century) A Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia, famous for the miracles he wrought, among which was his having with a word saved from imminent death a boy choking from having half swallowed a fishbone so placed that its extraction was impossible. Saint Blaise, a man of saintly life, was accused and tried as a Christian, and as chief of his fellow-believers in the persecution continued in the East after the Emperor Constantine had given peace to the Church elsewhere, by his colleague Licinius. The Saint was put to the torture and beheaded at Sebaste A.D. 316. His Feast is kept with much solemnity in Greece and in Asia Minor. The Crusaders propagated devotion to him in Europe. In some places bread is blessed on his Feast Day, of which a morsel is swallowed while invoking him. In others, oil is blessed, and with it a priest makes the sign of the cross on the throats of the Faithful. He is the recognised Patron Saint of wool-combers, whether because he was tortured by having his flesh torn with the iron combs used in the trade, or for some other reason, is uncertain.