Saint Blase’s idea of ecumenism

blaise

Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri explained how Saint Blase referred to the gods of the false religion of the Roman pagans shortly before his own martyrdom on February 3, 313:

When St. Blase arrived at the city [of Ragusa] and was presented to the governor, he was commanded to sacrifice to immortal gods. The saint answered: “What a title for your demons, who can only bring evil on their worshippers! There is only ONE Immortal God, and him do I adore.” Agricolaus, infuriated at the answer, caused the saint to undergo a scourging so prolonged and cruel that it was thought the saint could not possibly survive it; but having endured this torture with placid courage, he was sent to prison, where he continued to work miracles so extraordinary that the governor ordered him to be lacerated with iron hooks.

The blood of the saint ran profusely, and certain pious women were induced to collect portions of it, which act of devotion was amply rewarded, for they were seized, with two of their children, and brought before the governor. He commanded them to sacrifice to the gods under pain of death. The holy women asked for their idols, as some thought, to sacrifice to them, but they no sooner had hands upon them than they cast them into an adjoining lake, for which they were instantly beheaded, along with their children.

Agricolaus resolved to wreak his vengeance on St. Blase; and to content with the torture which he had already ceased him to endure, commanded him to be stretched upon the rack, and his flesh to be torn with iron combs, in which state a red-hot coal of mail was placed upon him. Finally, the tyrant, despairing of overcoming his constancy, ordered him to be cast into the lake; the saint, arming himself with the sign of the cross, walked upon the waters, and arriving at the middle, sat down, and invite the idolaters to do the same if they believed that their gods could enable them. Some were so rash as to make the attempt, but were immediately drowned.

St. Blase was admonished then by a voice from heaven to go forth from the lake and encounter his martyrdom. When he reached the land the impious tyrant ordered him to be beheaded. This sentence was executed in the year 313. The republic of Ragusa honor him as their principal patron, and he is the titular saint of many cities. (Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri, The Glories of The Martyrs, as published by the Redemptorist Fathers, Esopus, New York, 1954, pp. 253-254.)

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3 Comments

  1. As we know, every year on the feast of St. Blase, throats are blessed in Catholic churches (still most of them, I hope). My late, favorite uncle, Charles Blase, was an MD, and one of the top docs in his chosen specialty. Anyone care to guess what that was?

    • Mark,
      Are you serious?
      He must have been an ENT (Ears, Nose Throat!)

      • That he was!


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