Today's Saint (February 3): Blase, Bishop and Martyr
Saint Blase (4th Century) is known for the blessing of throats, among other things.
According to pious legend, while bishop of Sebaste in Armenia, Blase (a.k.a. Blasius or Blaise) was martyred under the Roman Emperor Licinius in the early 4th century.
He was possibly the son of wealthy Christian nobility. Before his martyrdom he lived in a cave and blessed sick and wounded animals, including cattle. Legend has it that a mother brought her son who was dying from choking on a fish or chicken bone, and Blase healed him. His intercessions are therefore sought by the sick, especially those with throat problems.
He died a terrible death, having his flesh torn with wool-combs, and is therefore also the patron saint of woolcombers. As we are comforted by God in the midst of the perils of this life, may we also comfort others who suffer. (The day's epistle from 2 Cor 1, page F 4, People's Anglican Missal)
Books Worth Considering
The Treasury of Saints and Martyrs
Fox's Book of Martyrs
Their Blood Cries Out
Reason Is Beguiled: On the Mystery of Martyrdom and of Total Self Gift
By Their Blood: Christian Martyrs of the Twentieth Century
Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church