Before he became a holy man and a bishop, St. Blase had been a physician.
St. Blase lived through the Diocletian persecution, which lasted for 25 years and is also known as “the Great Perseucution.”
The emperor Diocletian believed that the practice of Christianity offended the gods and caused problems for the Empire. He revoked rights which Christians had previously enjoyed and insisted that everyone offer pagan sacrifices.
This provoked a crisis of conscience, of course. Many Christians embraced martyrdom rather than commit sacrilege. St. Blase was one of these.
Diocletian had established four prefectures to govern the vast empire. The father of Constantine the Great ruled the prefecture of France. As we know, the young Constantine declared Christianity legal after he took over the Italian prefecture in the year 312.
St. Blase, however, lived in the Eastern prefecture. Constantine did not assume control of that part of the Empire until the year 324. In the meantime, St. Blase was martyred, in 316.
As he was led to prison, a woman with a child dying of a throat disease begged St. Blase for his prayers. He prayed, and the child got better.