The Hieromartyr Blaise, Bishop of Sebaste.
Born in Cappadocia, Blaise was meek and God-fearing from early childhood. He was chosen for his virtues as bishop of Sebaste, and was a great spiritual and moral light in that pagan town. During a period of violent persecution of Christians, Blaise encouraged his flock and visited the martyrs in prison, among whom was the famous Eustratius.
When the city of Sebaste was left entirely denuded of Christians - some killed and others fled - Blaise, by then an old man, retired to the mountain of Argeos and lived there in a cave. Ferocious wild beasts, recognising a holy man, came to him and he gently tamed them. But the persecutors found the saint in that hidden spot and took him for trial. On the way there, Blaise healed a boy who had a bone stuck in his throat and, at the petition of a poor widow, made the wolf that had taken her pig return it to her. The benighted judges tortured him, flogging him terribly. By his steadfastness in the Christian faith, Blaise brought many unbelievers to the Faith. Seven women and two children were thrown into prison with him; the women were slain first, then Blaise and the two children. He suffered and was glorified in 316.
Blaise's prayers are sought for the health and well-being of domestic animals and for protection from wild beasts. In the West, he is also invoked against sore throats.
The Holy Martyr George of Kratov.
Serbian by birth, from the town of Kratov, the young George was trade a goldsmith and in his heart and soul a faithful and devout Christian. As soon as he reached the age of eighteen, the Turks tired to convert him to Islam. But George remained as firm as diamond in the Faith. The Turks then tortured him with many harsh tortures and finally burned him alive at the stake. He suffered for the Christian faith on February 11th, 1515, in Sophia in the time of Sultan Salim, and was glorified with unfanding glory in heaven.
A Greek Empress, she was the wife of the wicked Emperor Theophilus the Iconoclast. After the death of Theophilus, Thedora reigned with her son, Michael III, the veneration of icons being immediately restored at the Council of Constantinople in 84was the occasion of the institution of the Feast of the Triumph Orthodoxy, which is celebrated to this day on the first Sunday in t Great Fast. This holy woman, who gave such service to the Church gave her soul to God on February 11th, 867. By the wonderful providence of God, it was at that time of the total triumph of Orthodox over all heresies that Saints Cyril and Methodius were sent as missionaries to the Slav peoples.