St Blaise

Stained glass window from the area of Soissons (Picardy, France), early 13th century depicting St Blaise confronting the Roman governor: scene from the life of St Blaise, bishop of Sebaste (Armenia), martyr under the Roman emperor Licinius (4th century).
Stained glass window from the area of Soissons (Picardy, France), early 13th century depicting St Blaise confronting the Roman governor: scene from the life of St Blaise, bishop of Sebaste (Armenia), martyr under the Roman emperor Licinius (4th century).

The churches of Frampton on Severn, Fretherne, Harescombe and Whaddon have chosen St Blaise as their giant because his image in Frampton’s church was said to have been much venerated. Blaise was the patron saint of woolcombers and the many sheep kept in this area were an important part of the local cloth-making industry. His feast day falls on 3 February and was still celebrated with the annual ‘Frying Pan Fair’ in Frampton for at least two centuries after the Reformation caused his image to be lost.

Procession (5)
St Blaise in the Frampton procession

St Blaise was born in Armenia during the third century. He was a physician and the bishop of Sebastea in historical Armenia. People came from many areas to be cured of bodily and spiritual ills and it was said that animals also came to him to be healed. As bishop he instructed his people as much by example as through his preaching.

In 316, persecution by order of the emperor began and St Blaise was seized. He was martyred by being beaten, attacked with woolcombs and beheaded.

St Blaise became one of the most popular saints of the fourteenth century.

We hope that our giant St Blaise will become a regular visitor to ‘Frampton Feast’ now held each August in Frampton on Severn.