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Patron Saints associated with Medicine II

There are a handful of patron saints associated with arthritis, including James the Greater , the son of Zebedee and Salome. Some believe that he may have been the cousin of Jesus. In this article, you will learn more about this saint, as well as the patron saint of coughs.

Arthritis

The reason James was called ‘the Greater’ is because he became an Apostle before Saint James the Lesser. Before James was called by Christ, he was a fisherman. He is a significant religious figure because he was present during most of the recorded miracles that Christ performed. Many tales are associated with the life and accomplishments of James, including bringing a boy back to life that had been wrongly hung. The child is said to have been dead for five weeks.

Out of all the Apostles, he was the first to be martyred. While in Jerusalem, King Herod Agrippa stabbed James with a sword in 44. According to the legends, his body was taken by angels while it sailed in an unattended boat traveling to Spain, where a large rock closed around it. Some of the imagery used to represent James the Greater includes a key, pilgrim’s hat, sword, cloak, cockle shell, long cape, and scallop shell. A man with a dark beard is also a representation of the saint, who is often seen holding something, such as a book, sword, or scroll.

Coughs

Although he is not the only saint associated with stopping coughs, Blaise is well known as a healer of men and animals. As a physician, he was also bishop of Sebaste in Armenia. Legend has it that sick animals would come to the cave that he lived in on Mount Argeus for help, but would never disturb him when he was deep in prayer.

Blaise lived in a time where the persecution of Christians was taking place. The movement had come to Sebaste. It is said that the governor of Cappadocia, Agricola, who came to Sebaste with these intentions sent his huntsmen into the forests to find wild animals for their arena games. What they encountered were many creatures waiting outside Blaise’s cave. Blaise was found praying and was arrested. Agricole tried to get him to recant his faith, but Blaise refused.

While he was imprisoned, Blaise healed a couple of his fellow prisoners. He also saved the life of a child who was choking on a fish bone. Blaise was eventually tossed into a lake to drown, but he stood on the surface and invited his persecutors to walk out and prove the power of their gods. The men drowned. When he reached land, he was martyred by being beaten , his flesh torn with wool combs. Afterwards, he was beheaded. For centuries, Blaise was quite the popular figure throughout Eastern and Western churches.

Blaise is represented by a hermit tending wild animals, a candle, iron comb, as a man with two candles, two crossed candles, and wax. A wool comb is also recognized as the instrument used to torture him.