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Saint Blaise was a martyr and saint from the beginning of the 4th century revered by the Catholic, Orthodox and Armenian churches. He is believed to be born around 280 A.D. in the city of Sebaste (now Sivas in central Turkey). He grew up in a pagan family that sent him to study medicine.

Blaise healed people and animals, often only with the sign of the cross. Against his will, he was elected bishop of Sebaste during the fiercest persecution of Christians, but soon after had to take refuge in the mountains to escape Roman soldiers. There he was protected by wild beasts, with whom he talked. When the Romans caught him, he did not want to renounce his faith and was tortured and killed. He was buried in 316 A.D. in the city of Sebaste. Although in art he is often depicted as an old man with a grey beard, he was only 36 years old when he died.