St. Blaise has a special place in my heart. We named our fourth child after him!
Like many of the early saints, it is hard to distinguish facts from legends about St. Blaise. What we do know is that St. Blaise was a bishop in Armenia who became a hermit to avoid Christian persecution.
The story goes that hunters found him in a cave, praying, surrounded by wild animals that he had befriended. As the hunters captured St. Blaise to imprison him, a mother happened by. Her young son was choking on a fish bone. St. Blaise miraculously saved the young boy’s life.
After he was martyred for the faith in 316, a strong devotion to him grew. Because he had dislodged the fish bone from the child’s throat, St. Blaise became known as the patron saint for throat ailments.
We named our little Blaise after St. Blaise as a prayer, asking St. Blaise to pray for our children’s terribly painful silent reflux. Like his older sisters and brother, Blaise began having pain from stomach acid backing up into his esophagus. Antacids and proton pump inhibitors did little to ease the pain.
I believe St. Blaise’s prayers opened our eyes to holistic doctors and chiropractors that healed Blaise and his siblings. We discovered food allergies were causing the reflux in the first place. Chiropractic adjustments kept their bodies in alignment, preventing reflux. Genetic SNP’s affecting B12 and folic acid absorption make our children very prone to food allergies and reflux. The medicines that lower stomach acid make the reflux worse because they lower B12, further exascerbating the cycle! Large doses of probiotics restored Blaise’s healthy gut flora, keeping the reflux away as well. You can read more about our little Blaise’s journey to health here.
If you are able to go to mass today, you will most likely receive a blessing of your throat similar to this:
Through the intercession of St. 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 (Blessing of St. Blaise).
Time and time again, I am amazed and humbled at the connection we have with Christians in Heaven. Never underestimate the power of prayer, whether by you, Christians on earth, or saints in Heaven.