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BLAIS


592


BLANCHARD


Adami Blncvodad opera omnia (Paris, 1644), ed. Gabriel; Naude (with a portrait and prefatory life); Irving, Scottish Writers, I, 161-169; Dempster, Hist. Ecdes: Genlis Scotorum, 116; Blackwood, Martyre de la Royne d'Escosse is included in Jebb, De vitd et rebus gestis Marice Scot. Regime (1725), II, 175 (Maitland Club tr., 1734).

D. O. Hunter-Blair.

Blais, Andrew. See Rimouski, Diocese of.

Blaise (Blasius), Saint, bishop and martyr. — riie nintli-century martyrologies of Europe in their lists, which are accompanied by liistorical notices, .give on 15 February the name of St. Blasius, Bishop of Sebaste and martyr. The Greek synaxaria men- tion him under 11 February. In the oldest known recension of the so-called martyrology of St. Jerome the name of St. Blasius does not appear; it is only in the later, enlarged catalogues that he is men- tioned. The historical notices concerning him in the above-mentioned martyrologies and synaxaria rest on the legendary Acts. All the statements agree that St. Blasius was Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia and most of the accounts place liis martyrdom in the reign of Licinius (about 316). As these reports may rest on old traditions which are bound up with the veneration of the saint in the Church liturgy, they are not to be absolutely rejected. It can perhaps be assumed that St. Blasius was a bishop and that he suffered martyrdom at the beginning of the fourth century. All the particulars concerning his life and martyrdom which are found in the Acts are purely legendary and have no claim to historical worth. There are besides various recensions of the text of the Acts. According to the legend Blasius was a physician at Sebaste before he was raised to the episcopal see. At the time of the perse- cution under Licinius he was taken prisoner at the command of the governor, Agricolaus. The hunters of the governor found him in the wilderness in a cave to which he had retired and while in prison he performed a wonderful cure on a boy who had a fishbone in his throat and who was in danger of choking to death. After suffering various forms of torture St. Blasius was beheaded; the Acts relate also the martyrdom of seven women. The veneration of the Oriental saint was brought at an early date into Europe, as is sho%^^l by the recitals in the his- torical martyrologies of the ninth century, and the Latin recension of the legend of St. Blasius; so that Blasius became one of the most popular saints of the Middle Ages. The actual reason for the unusual veneration has not yet been made clear. Most probably one ground was that according to the legend he was a physician and wonderful cures were ascribed to liim; for this reason the faithful sought his help and intercession when ill. Numberless churches and altars were dedicated to him and many localities (Taranto, RagiLsa, the Abbey of St. Blasius in the Black Forest, etc.) claimed to possess some of his relics. He was also one of the Fourteen Holy Mar- tyrs. In many places on the day of his feast the blessing of St. Blasius is given: two candles are con- secrated, generally by a prayer, these are then held in a crossed position by a priest over the heads of the faithful or the people are touched on the throat with them. In other places oil is consecrated in whicli the wick of a small candle is dipped and the tliroats of those present are touched with the wick. At the same time the following blessing is given: "Per intercessionem S. Blasii liberet te Deus a malo gutteris et a quovis alio malo" (May God at the in- tercession of St. Blasius preserve you from throat troubles and every other evil). In some dioceses is added: "in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus" and the priest makes the sign of the cross over the faith- ful. In the Latin Church his feast falls on 3 February, in the Oriental Churrlics on 11 February. He is represented lioldiiig two <Tossed candles in his hand (the Blessing of St. Blasius), or in a cave surrounded


by wild beasts, as he was found by the hunters of the governor.

Acta SS., Februar.v, I 331-336; (Commentarius), 336-353 (Acta); MoMBRiTius, Sanctuarium, I, 81-83; ed. Bollandists (Brussels, 1898-99). I, 204-205; Metaphrastes, Vita: Sanc- torum in MiGNE, P. G., CXVI, col. 817 sqq.; Synaxarium Constantinopel., ed. Delahaye (Brussels, 1902), 458: Uhrig, Di4: XIV heiligen Nothelfer in Theol. Quartalschrift (Tubingen. 1888), 72 sqq.: Niccolai, Memorie storiche di S. Biagio, vescovo e martire, protettore delta republica di Ragusa (Rome, 1752); Vita e martirio di S. Biagio, vescovo di Sebaste (Monza, 1889); Elles, The Holy Helpers, Sts. Blaise and Erasmus in The Dublin Rei'iew (1889). 340 sqq.; Pistre, Vie de S. Blaise, eveque de Sebaste (Toulouse, 1861).

J. P. KiRSCH.

Blanc, Anthony, fifth Bishop, and first Arch- bishop, of New Orleans, La. , U. S. A. , b. at Sury, near Lyons, France, 11 Oct., 1792; d. at New Orleans, 2() June, 1860. He was one of the first ecclesiasti- cal students after the restoration of the Church in France, and was ordained priest on 22 July, 1816, by Bishop Dubourg of New Orleans, in the Seminary at Lyons, during a \nsit of that prelate in search of help and volunteers for the American mission. He came to America in September, 1817, landing at Annapolis, Md., with several young seminarians, and was entertained until the end of October by Charles Carroll at Carrolton. He then went with Bishop Dubourg to New Orleans and for nearly fifteen years led the arduous life of a missionary over the wide field of the Mississippi Valley. In 1831, Bishop De Neckere appointed liim liis vicar-general and wanted to make him liis coadjutor, but he re- fused the promotion. When the Bishop died, in 1853, Father Blanc was named administrator, and was consecrated bishop of the diocese, 22 November, 1835. His jurisdiction extended over the States of Louisiana and Mississippi, and in 1838 Texas was added. In 1842 he came into conflict with the lay trustees of the Cathedral over his right to appoint its rector, in the course of which contest he had to interdict the church. Litigation in the courts and appeals to the State Legislature dragged out the controversy for more than a year, but all the issues were decided in favour of the Bishop. In 1838 he established a diocesan seminary and introduced into the diocese the Lazarists, the Jesuits, the Redemp- torists, the Christian Brothers, the Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, and the Congregations of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and of the Holy Cross. He attended the First Plenary Council of Baltimore, and was one of the few American prelates present in Rome when the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was pro- claimed (8 Dec, 1854). New Orleans was made an arclibishopric, 19 July, 1850, and he received the pallium, 16 February, 1851. During his tenure of the see many old abuses were corrected; the number of churches was increased from 26 to 73, of priests from 27 to 92, and many schools, academies, colleges, convents, and asylums testified to his zeal and la- bours. He died suddenly at his residence in New Orleans, discharging with activity to the last the arduous duties of his office.

Shea, Hist. Calh. Ch. in U. S. (New York, 1904); Recss, Biog. Cycl. of the Catholic Hierarchy (Milwaukee, Wis., 1898); Clarke, Lives of the Deceased Bishops (New York, 1872), II; Catholic Almanac 1861; Delta (files. New Orleans, 23 June, 1860).

Thom.« F. Meehan.

Blanc, Le. See Lb Blanc.

Blanchard (Duchesne), Jean-B.\ptiste, a French Jesuit and educator, b. 12 October, 1731, at Tourteron in the department of Ardennes; d. 15 June, 1797. In 1746 he entered the Society of Jesus, and later was professor at Metz, Verdun, and Pont-^-Mousson. At the time of the suppression of the Society he changed his name of Duchesne to that of Abb6 Blanchard, under which his works were published.