Saint Blaise's Church

INTRODUCTION

According to the local scholar Vincenzo Lena1, Blaise of Sebastea was already worshipped in Comiso in the IV century and became Patron of the local community in the VII century A.D. This cult is considered is one of the most ancient in Sicily.

History of the church

One of the oldest baroque church of Saint Blaise is located in Comiso (Via Carrara, 21) and locally it is known as "San Milasi's church" (dialect version of the name Blaise).

In the third century, in "Casale di Comicio" there was a Greek-Byzantine colony which, in the area between Via San Francesco and Via San Biagio, built a small church with three naves and surmounted by a dome. In the fourth century, this church was enlarged and dedicated to San Biagio, but in 1693, a terrible earthquake destroyed the dome and the two side naves. The central nave, even if damaged, was statically reinforced and restored: today it constitutes the current church of Saint Blaise.

The church stands on an imposing staircase, and a lot of paintings regarding the Saint's life, can be admired on the inside.

The Entrance

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The Statues

Stone statue, work of a local master, dating back to 1763 - Exterior side elevation

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Saint's processional statue, seated on the bishop's chair and built in the Seventeenth (Interior niche above the altar)

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The Paintings

Painting representing the moment when Saint Blaise saves a child who is choking with a herringbone. (Pietro Novelli's work)

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According to the legend, while Blaise was coming down to Sebaste, a woman brought him the little son who was suffocating for a bone stuck in his throat: his blessing was miraculous. From that episode the patronage on the throat was born. But the saint has also become the protector against other diseases because, as legend has it, on the point of death he begged the Lord to grant health to whoever invoked him for an illness; and a voice from heaven replied that he had been heard.
For this reason, on the day of his feast, the priest touches the throat of the faithful with the imposition of two crossed candles that have been blessed on the eve of Candlemas.

Painting representing the sanctification of Blaise. (Pietro Novelli's work)

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  • Photos and main text by Alessandra Cassibba ti.upmacla|abbissac.ardnassela#| and Silvia Casertano ti.supmacla|onatresac.aivlis#| (December 2018)
  • Locate the item on this [ Google Map]

Bibliography
1. Biagio Fiaccavento, San Biagio - Patrono di Comiso [S. l.] : a cura dell'A., 2010, pp. 6-8
2. Pro Loco di Comiso, Comiso Viva [S. I.] : a cura dell'A., 1976

Sitography



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