Blaise was a bishop of the early Church who died a martyr's death in 316. He was bishop of Sebastea in Armenia, and during the persecution of Dioceltian was thrown into prison and eventually put to death. He is known as a witness to the faith and a martyr, and is traditionally associated with the custom of the blessing of throats on this day.
This tradition flows from a longstanding tradition that Blaise, while in prison, ministered to his flock who were locked up with him. The story goes that a young boy began to choke on a bone from a piece of fish, and while everyone froze, Blaise calmly and confidently dislodged the bone and saved the child. Thus he became an intercessor for ailments of the throat.
The Collect Prayer for today's liturgy says:
"Hear, O Lord, the supplications your people make
under the patronage of the Martyr Saint Blaise,
and grant that they may rejoice in peace
in this present life,
and find help for life eternal."
The prayer that we pray as we offer the prayer over the people is this:
"Through the intercession of Saint Blaise,
bishop and martyr,
may you be delivered from every ailment
of the throat or body
and from any other evil.
in the Name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Happy Saint Blaise day!