Can you imagine praying with bears, lions and wolves around you? St. Blaise did!
by Christine Henderson
St. Blaise is another saint who lived a LONG time ago–during the 4th century, when being a Christian was a crime.
St. Blaise was a bishop and a doctor for people and animals. To avoid being caught, he lived in a cave outside of the city. Legend has it that sick animals would come to him to be cured. But if St. Blaise was praying, the animals would patiently wait so as not to disturb his prayers.
In the year 316, some hunters stumbled upon St. Blaise praying on his knees with bears, lions, and wolves around him. This surprised the hunters but did not keep them from arresting him for being a Christian. On his way to prison, a woman brought her son who was choking on a fish bone to him. St. Blaise said a prayer, and the boy stopped choking.
According to another legend, a poor woman complained to St. Blaise that her pig had been stolen by a wolf. The saint ordered the wolf to return the pig alive and uninjured. The wolf obeyed. After he was in prison, this poor woman brought him two wax candles to light his dark cell.
Often this saint is pictured holding two candles, or in a cave with wild animals.
On his feast day, some people go to church to have their throats blessed.
Feast day: February 3
St. Blaise, pray for us!
This activity takes two people to play. Gather some stuffed animals (“wild” stuffed animals, if possible). One person is to be St. Blaise, while the other will be the voice/actor of the stuffed animals.
Pretend the stuffed animals are alive and are visiting St. Blaise at his cave. St. Blaise is praying and the animals quietly wait for him to finish. When he is done praying, he calls each animal over one by one. Saint Blaise must figure out what is wrong with each animal. The person animating the animals can make the animals limp, crawl, whimper, etc. However, the person playing the part of the animals can only answer questions with a nod for “yes” or a head shake for “no.” (The person playing the part of the animals needs to have figured out what is wrong with each animal before approaching St. Blaise. He or she can pretend the animal has a toothache, thorn in its paw, a headache, etc.)
Christine Henderson is a professional storyteller. To learn more, check out her website, NeverTooOldForStories.com or email her at: NeverTooOldForStories@gmail.com