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February 3, 2018

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Blaise the Herdsman

St. Blaise the Herdsman (Feast Day - February 3)


The cry of the herd, you formerly had Blaise,
Now you have the courtyard of the Lord.

Saint Blaise was from Caesarea of Cappadocia, the son of wealthy parents, who had gained their wealth due to the large number of animals they had, wealth which they gave away plentifully along with charity to the poor. When there was a persecution against the Christians by the Greek pagans, blessed Blaise was sought for but could not be found. The Greeks therefore inquired of his whereabouts in the wilderness and the valleys. When the brave contestant of Christ learned of this, he gave himself up to his persecutors with such joy, it was as if he was invited to a royal dinner. Being a benefactor and a man of good will, he gave his persecutors and murderers hospitality and served them.

Standing before the tribunal, after he was asked by the governor, he revealed his name and his faith and his occupation. Immediately after this the four members of his body were stretched out, and he was flogged with raw hides. God meanwhile eased his pain, and healed his wounds. When the governor saw this miracle, he called it magic. Therefore he placed the Saint in a cauldron of boiling water, where it was ordered that he remain for five days. Angels of God descended, and urged the Martyr to not be afraid, but to have courage, and with this they scattered the flames and brought harm to those outside it. After five days, soldiers came to remove the Saint from the cauldron, but they saw that he was alive, and that he was chanting with the Angels. For this reason they immediately proclaimed themselves Christians.

When the governor found out about this, he sent other soldiers to have him removed. They went, and they also called themselves Christians. After this the governor himself went, and seeing the Saint in the boiling water, he thought that the water had cooled down, so he ordered for some of that water to be brought to him so that he may wash his face. When he did this, the wretched one blinded himself, and with his blindness his stained soul also departed. The Martyr of Christ, however, baptized with that water all the soldiers who believed in the name of the Holy Trinity.

After this he went to the stable of his animals, and he delivered to his mother and his relatives all that was needed for their salvation, and in this way he delivered his soul into the hands of God. Those who happened to be present when the blessed one died, beheld his holy soul emerge from his body, like a white and luminous dove, and he flew off into heaven. His sacred body was buried at that same place. His staff sprouted near the altar there, and became a large tree, which overshadowed the altar.