Prester John was a legendary Christian patriarch and king, popular in European chronicles and tradition from the 7th through the 19th centuries. He was said to rule over a Nestorian Christian nation lost amid the Muslims and pagans of the Orient, in which the Patriarch of the Saint Thomas Christians resided; the accounts are varied collections of medieval popular fantasy, depicting Prester John as a descendant of the Three Magi, ruling a kingdom full of riches and strange creatures. At first, Prester John was imagined to reside in India. After the coming of the Mongols to the Western world, accounts placed the king in Central Asia, Portuguese explorers convinced themselves that they had found him in Ethiopia. Though its immediate genesis is unclear, the legend of Prester John drew from earlier accounts of the Orient and of Westerners' travels there. Influential were the stories of Saint Thomas the Apostle's proselytizing in India, recorded in the 3rd-century work known as the Acts of Thomas.
This text inculcated in Westerners an image of "India" as a place of exotic wonders and offered the earliest description of Saint Thomas establishing a Christian sect there, motifs that loomed large over accounts of Prester John. Distorted reports of the Church of the East's movements in Asia informed the legend as well; this church called the Nestorian church and centered in Persia, had gained a wide following in the Eastern nations and engaged the Western imagination as an assemblage both exotic and familiarly Christian. Inspiring were the Nestorians' missionary successes among the Mongols and Turks of Central Asia. By the 12th century, the Kerait rulers were still following a custom of bearing Christian names, which may have fueled the legend. Additionally, the tradition may have drawn from the shadowy early Christian figure John the Presbyter of Syria, whose existence is first inferred by the ecclesiastical historian and bishop Eusebius of Caesarea based on his reading of earlier church fathers.
This man, said in one document to be the author of two of the Epistles of John, was supposed to have been the teacher of the martyr bishop Papias, who had in turn taught Eusebius' own teacher Irenaeus. However, little links this figure active in the late 1st century, to the Prester John legend beyond the name; the title "Prester" is an adaptation of the Late Latin word "presbyter" meaning "elder" and used as a title of priests holding a high office. The accounts of Prester John borrowed from literary texts concerning the East, including the great body of ancient and medieval geographical and travel literature. Details were lifted from literary and pseudohistorical accounts, such as the tale of Sinbad the Sailor; the Alexander romance, a fabulous account of Alexander the Great's conquests, was influential in this regard. The Prester John legend as such began in the early 12th century with reports of visits of an Archbishop of India to Constantinople, of a Patriarch of India to Rome at the time of Pope Callixtus II.
These visits from the Saint Thomas Christians of India, cannot be confirmed, evidence of both being secondhand reports. What is certain is that German chronicler Otto of Freising reported in his Chronicon of 1145 that the previous year he had met Hugh, bishop of Jabala in Syria, at the court of Pope Eugene III in Viterbo. Hugh was an emissary of Prince Raymond of Antioch, sent to seek Western aid against the Saracens after the Siege of Edessa. Hugh told Otto, in the presence of the pope, that Prester John, a Nestorian Christian who served in the dual position of priest and king, had regained the city of Ecbatana from the brother monarchs of Medes and Persia, the Samiardi, in a great battle "not many years ago". Afterwards Prester John set out for Jerusalem to rescue the Holy Land, but the swollen waters of the Tigris compelled him to return to his own country, his fabulous wealth was demonstrated by his emerald scepter. Robert Silverberg connects this account with historical events of 1141, when the Kara-Khitan Khanate under Yelü Dashi defeated the Seljuk Turks near Samarkand.
The Seljuks were the most powerful force in the Muslim world. The Kara-Khitan at the time were Buddhists – not Christian – and there is no reason to suppose Yelü Dashi was called Prester John, but several vassals of the Kara-Khitan practiced Nestorian Christianity, which may have contributed to the legend. It is possible that the Europeans, who were unfamiliar with Buddhism, assumed that if the leader was not Muslim, he must be Christian; the defeat inspired a notion of deliverance from the East. It is possible Otto recorded Hugh's confused report to prevent complacency in the Crusade's European backers – according to his account, no help could be expected from a powerful Eastern king. No more of the tale is recorded until about 1165 when copies of what was a forged Letter of Prester John started spreading throughout Europe. An epistolary wonder tale with parallels sugge
The man-of-war was a British Royal Navy expression for a powerful warship or frigate from the 16th to the 19th century. The term refers to a ship armed with cannons and propelled by sails, as opposed to a galley, propelled by oars; the man-of-war was developed in Portugal in the early 15th century from earlier roundships with the addition of a second mast to form the carrack. The 16th century saw the carrack evolve into the galleon and the ship of the line; the evolution of the term has been given thus: Man-of-war. "A phrase applied to a line of battle ship, contrary to the usual rule in the English language by which all ships are feminine. It arose in the following manner:'Men of war' were armed soldiers. A ship full of them would be called a'man-of-war ship.' In process of time the word'ship' was discarded as unnecessary and there remained the phrase'a man-of-war.'" The man-of-war design developed by Sir John Hawkins, had three masts, each with three to four sails. The ship could be up to 60 metres long and could have up to 124 guns: four at the bow, eight at the stern, 56 in each broadside.
All these cannons required three gun decks to hold them, one more than any earlier ship. It had a maximum sailing speed of nine knots. Portuguese man o' war, a jellyfish-like cnidarian so named because of its resemblance to a man-of-war ship at full sail Rating system of the Royal Navy, which classified warships into six "rates", a "first-rate" having the most armament, a "sixth-rate" the least Merchantman, a merchant ship East Indiaman, a ship of any of the East India Companies Man o' War, an American Thoroughbred Nautical References Project Gutenberg: The World of Waters Gallery of photos of men-of-war
Saint Christopher is venerated by several Christian denominations as a martyr killed in the reign of the 3rd-century Roman Emperor Decius or alternatively under the Roman Emperor Maximinus II Dacian. There appears to be confusion due to the similarity in names "Decius" and "Dacian"; however his veneration only appears late in Christian tradition, did not become widespread in the Western Church until the Late Middle Ages, although churches and monasteries were named after him by the 7th century. It is disputed whether Christopher existed, if so whether the name applied to a specific person or was a general title meaning "Christ-bearer", applied to several different real or legendary people, he may be the same figure as Saint Menas. His most famous legend, known from the West and may draw from Ancient Greek mythology, tells that he carried a child, unknown to him, across a river before the child revealed himself as Christ. Therefore, he is the patron saint of travelers, small images of him are worn around the neck, on a bracelet, carried in a pocket, or placed in vehicles by Christians.
Legends about the life and death of Saint Christopher first appeared in Greece in the 6th century and had spread to France by the 9th century. The 11th-century bishop and poet Walter of Speyer gave one version, but the most popular variations originated from the 13th-century Golden Legend. According to the legendary account of his life Christopher was called Reprobus, he was a Canaanite, 5 cubits tall and with a fearsome face. While serving the king of Canaan, he took it into his head to go and serve "the greatest king there was", he went to the king, reputed to be the greatest, but one day he saw the king cross himself at the mention of the devil. On thus learning that the king feared the devil, he departed to look for the devil, he came across a band of marauders, one of whom declared himself to be the devil, so Christopher decided to serve him. But when he saw his new master avoid a wayside cross and found out that the devil feared Christ, he left him and enquired from people where to find Christ.
He met a hermit. Christopher asked him; when the hermit suggested fasting and prayer, Christopher replied that he was unable to perform that service. The hermit suggested that because of his size and strength Christopher could serve Christ by assisting people to cross a dangerous river, where they were perishing in the attempt; the hermit promised. After Christopher had performed this service for some time, a little child asked him to take him across the river. During the crossing, the river became swollen and the child seemed as heavy as lead, so much that Christopher could scarcely carry him and found himself in great difficulty; when he reached the other side, he said to the child: "You have put me in the greatest danger. I do not think the whole world could have been as heavy on my shoulders as you were." The child replied: "You Him who made it. I am Christ your king, whom you are serving by this work." The child vanished. Christopher visited Lycia and there comforted the Christians who were being martyred.
Brought before the local king, he refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods. The king tried to win him by sending two beautiful women to tempt him. Christopher converted the women to Christianity, as he had converted thousands in the city; the king ordered him to be killed. Various attempts failed, but Christopher was beheaded; the Eastern Orthodox Church venerates Christopher of Lycea with a Feast Day on May 9. The liturgical reading and hymns refer to his imprisonment by Decius who tempts Christopher with harlots before ordering his beheading; the Kontakion in the Fourth Tone reads: Thou who wast terrifying both in strength and in countenance, for thy Creator's sake thou didst surrender thyself willingly to them that sought thee. And in torments thou didst prove to be courageous. Wherefore, O great Christopher; the Roman Martyrology remembers him on 25 July. The Tridentine Calendar commemorated him on the same day only in private Masses. By 1954 his commemoration had been extended to all Masses, but it was dropped in 1970 as part of the general reorganization of the calendar of the Roman rite as mandated by the motu proprio, Mysterii Paschalis.
His commemoration was described to be not of Roman tradition, in view of the late date and limited manner in which it was accepted into the Roman calendar, but his feast continues to be observed locally. The Museum of Sacred Art at Saint Justine's Church in Rab, Croatia claims a gold-plated reliquary holds the skull of St. Christopher. According to church tradition, a bishop showed the relics from the city wall in 1075 in order to end a siege of the city by an Italo-Norman army. Devotional medals with St. Christopher‘s name and image are worn as pendants by travelers, to show devotion and as a request for his blessing. Miniature statues are displayed in automobiles. In French a widespread phrase for such medals is “Regarde St Christophe et va-t-en rassuré”.
Age of Discovery
The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration, is an informal and loosely defined term for the period in European history in which extensive overseas exploration emerged as a powerful factor in European culture and, the beginning of globalization. It marks the rise of the period of widespread adoption in Europe of colonialism and mercantilism as national policies. Many lands unknown to Europeans were discovered by them during this period, though most were inhabited. From the perspective of many non-Europeans, the Age of Discovery marked the arrival of invaders from unknown continents. Global exploration started with the Portuguese discoveries of the Atlantic archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores in 1419 and 1427, the coast of Africa after 1434 and the sea route to India in 1498; these discoveries led to numerous naval expeditions across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, land expeditions in the Americas, Asia and Australia that continued into the late 19th century, ended with the exploration of the polar regions in the 20th century.
European overseas exploration led to the rise of global trade and the European colonial empires, with the contact between the Old World and the New World producing the Columbian Exchange, a wide transfer of plants, food, human populations, communicable diseases and culture between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. This represented one of the most significant global events concerning ecology and culture in history; the Age of Discovery and European exploration allowed the global mapping of the world, resulting in a new worldview and distant civilizations coming into contact, but led to the propagation of diseases that decimated populations not in contact with Eurasia and Africa and to the enslavement, military conquest and economic dominance by Europe and its colonies over native populations. It allowed for the expansion of Christianity throughout the world: with the spread of missionary activity, it became the world's largest religion; the Portuguese began systematically exploring the Atlantic coast of Africa from 1418, under the sponsorship of Prince Henry.
Under the direction of Henry the Navigator, the Portuguese developed a new, much lighter ship, the caravel, which could sail further and faster, above all, was manoeuvrable and could sail much nearer the wind, or into the wind. In 1488 Bartolomeu Dias reached the Indian Ocean by this route. In 1492 the Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon funded Christopher Columbus's plan to sail west to reach the Indies by crossing the Atlantic, he seen as a new world, the Americas. To prevent conflict between Portugal and Castile, the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed dividing the world into two regions of exploration, where each had exclusive rights to claim newly discovered lands. In 1498, a Portuguese expedition commanded by Vasco da Gama reached India by sailing around Africa, opening up direct trade with Asia. While other exploratory fleets were sent from Portugal to northern North America, in the following years Portuguese India Armadas extended this Eastern oceanic route, touching sometimes South America and by this way opening a circuit from the New World to Asia, explored islands in the South Atlantic and Southern Indian Oceans.
Soon, the Portuguese sailed further eastward, to the valuable Spice Islands in 1512, landing in China one year later. In 1513, Spanish Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached the "other sea" from the New World. Thus, Europe first received news of the eastern and western Pacific within a one-year span around 1512. East and west exploration overlapped in 1522, when a Castilian expedition, led by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and by Spanish Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano, sailing westward, completed the first circumnavigation of the world, while Spanish conquistadors explored the interior of the Americas, some of the South Pacific islands. Since 1495, the French and English and, much the Dutch entered the race of exploration after learning of these exploits, defying the Iberian monopoly on maritime trade by searching for new routes, first to the western coasts of North and South America, through the first English and French expeditions, into the Pacific Ocean around South America, but by following the Portuguese around Africa into the Indian Ocean.
Meanwhile, from the 1580s to the 1640s, Russians explored and conquered the whole of Siberia, Alaska in the 1730s. Between the 12th and 15th centuries the European economy was transformed by the interconnecting of river and sea trade routes, causing Europe to become one of the world's most prosperous trading networks. Before the 12th century the main obstacle to trade east of the Strait of Gibraltar was lack of commercial incentive rather than inadequate ship design. Economic growth of Spain followed the reconquest of the siege of Lisbon; the decline of Fatimid Caliphate naval strength that started
The great Congo River known as the Zaire River under the Mobutu regime, is the second longest river in Africa, shorter only than the Nile, as well as the second largest river in the world by discharge volume, following only the Amazon. It is the world's deepest recorded river, with measured depths in excess of 220 m; the Congo-Lualaba-Chambeshi River system has an overall length of 4,700 km, which makes it the world's ninth-longest river. The Chambeshi is a tributary of the Lualaba River, Lualaba is the name of the Congo River upstream of Boyoma Falls, extending for 1,800 km. Measured along with the Lualaba, the main tributary, the Congo River has a total length of 4,370 km, it is the only river to cross the equator twice. The Congo Basin has a total area of 13 % of the entire African landmass; the name Congo/Kongo river originates from the Kingdom of Kongo once located on the southern bank of the river. The kingdom in turn was named for the indigenous Bantu Kongo people, known in the 17th century as "Esikongo".
South of the Kingdom of Kongo proper lay the named Kakongo kingdom, mentioned in 1535. Abraham Ortelius in his world map of 1564 labeled as "Manicongo" the city at the mouth of the river; the tribal names in Kongo derive from a word for a public gathering or tribal assembly. The modern name of the Kongo people or Bakongo was introduced in the early 20th century; the name Zaire is from a Portuguese adaptation of a Kikongo word, nzere, a truncation of nzadi o nzere. The river was known as Zaire during the 17th centuries; the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo are named after it, as was the previous Republic of the Congo which had gained independence in 1960 from the Belgian Congo. The Republic of Zaire during 1971–1997 was named after the river, after its name in French and Portuguese; the Congo's drainage basin covers an area larger than India. The Congo's discharge at its mouth ranges from 23,000 to 75,000 cubic metres per second, with an average of 41,000 cubic metres per second.
The river and its tributaries flow through the Congo Rainforest, the second largest rain forest area in the world, second only to the Amazon Rainforest in South America. The river has the second-largest flow in the world, behind the Amazon; because its drainage basin includes areas both north and south of the equator, its flow is stable, as there is always at least one part of the river experiencing a rainy season. The sources of the Congo are in the highlands and mountains of the East African Rift, as well as Lake Tanganyika and Lake Mweru, which feed the Lualaba River, which becomes the Congo below Boyoma Falls; the Chambeshi River in Zambia is taken as the source of the Congo in line with the accepted practice worldwide of using the longest tributary, as with the Nile River. The Congo flows toward the northwest from Kisangani just below the Boyoma falls gradually bends southwestwards, passing by Mbandaka, joining with the Ubangi River, running into the Pool Malebo. Kinshasa and Brazzaville are on opposite sides of the river at the Pool, where the river narrows and falls through a number of cataracts in deep canyons, running by Matadi and Boma, into the sea at the small town of Muanda.
The Congo River Basin is one of the distinct physiographic sections of the larger Mid-African province, which in turn is part of the larger African massive physiographic division. The drainage basin of the Congo River includes most of Central Africa; the main river and tributaries are:Sorted in order from the mouth heading upstream. Lower Congo Downstream of Kinshasa, from the river mouth at Banana, there are a few major tributaries, all on the left side. Mpozo Kwilu InkisiMiddle Congo Kwa-Kassai – 2150 km – 881,900 km2, 9,900 m3/s Fimi Lukenie Kwango Sankuru Lefini Sangha – 1,400 km, 213,400 km2, 750 m3/s Kadéï Ubangi/ – 2,270 km, 772,800 km2, 4,000 m3/s Mbomou Uele Tshuapa or Ruki River – 1,000 km Lomami River – 1,400 kmUpper Congo Upstream of Boyoma Falls near Kisangani, the river Congo is known as the Lualaba River. Luvua Luapula Chambeshi Although the Livingstone Falls prevent access from the sea, nearly the entire Congo above them is navigable in sections between Kinshasa and Kisangani.
Large river steamers worked the river until quite recently. The Congo River still is a lifeline in a land with few railways. Railways now bypass the three major falls, much of the trade of Central Africa passes along the river, including copper, palm oil, sugar and cotton; the river is potentially valuable for hydroelectric power, the Inga Dams below Pool Malebo are first to exploit the Congo river. The Congo River is the most powerful river in Africa. During the rainy season over 50,000 cubic metres of water per second flow into the Atlantic Ocean. Opportunities for the Congo River and its tributaries to generate hydropower are th
Prince Henry the Navigator
Infante D. Henrique of Portugal, Duke of Viseu, better known as Prince Henry the Navigator, was a central figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire and in the 15th-century European maritime discoveries and maritime expansion. Through his administrative direction, he is regarded as the main initiator of what would be known as the Age of Discovery. Henry was the fourth child of the Portuguese king John I. Henry was responsible for the early development of Portuguese exploration and maritime trade with other continents through the systematic exploration of Western Africa, the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, the search for new routes, he encouraged his father to conquer Ceuta, the Muslim port on the North African coast across the Straits of Gibraltar from the Iberian Peninsula. He learned of the opportunities offered by the Saharan trade routes that terminated there, became fascinated with Africa in general, he is regarded as the patron of Portuguese exploration. Henry was the third surviving son of King John I and his wife Philippa, sister of King Henry IV of England.
He was baptized in Porto, may have been born there when the royal couple was living in the city's old mint, now called Casa do Infante, or in the region nearby. Another possibility is that he was born at the Monastery of Leça do Bailio, in Leça de Palmeira, during the same period of the royal couple's residence in the city of Porto. Henry was 21 when he and his father and brothers captured the Moorish port of Ceuta in northern Morocco. Ceuta had long been a base for Barbary pirates who raided the Portuguese coast, depopulating villages by capturing their inhabitants to be sold in the African slave trade. Following this success, Henry began to explore the coast of Africa, most of, unknown to Europeans, his objectives included finding the source of the West African gold trade and the legendary Christian kingdom of Prester John, stopping the pirate attacks on the Portuguese coast. At that time, the ships of the Mediterranean were too heavy to make these voyages. Under his direction, a new and much lighter ship was developed, the caravel, which could sail further and faster, above all, was maneuverable and could sail much nearer the wind, or "into the wind".
This made the caravel independent of the prevailing winds. With the caravel, Portuguese mariners explored rivers and shallow waters as well as the open ocean with wide autonomy. In fact, the invention of the caravel was what made Portugal poised to take the lead in transoceanic exploration. In 1419, Henry's father appointed him governor of the province of the Algarve. On 25 May 1420, Henry gained appointment as the Grand Master of the Military Order of Christ, the Portuguese successor to the Knights Templar, which had its headquarters at Tomar, in central Portugal. Henry held this position for the remainder of his life, the Order was an important source of funds for Henry's ambitious plans his persistent attempts to conquer the Canary Islands, which the Portuguese had claimed to have discovered before the year 1346. In 1425, his second brother the Infante Peter, Duke of Coimbra, made a tour of Europe. While a diplomatic mission, among his goals was to seek out geographic material for his brother Henry.
Peter returned from Venice with a current world map drafted by a Venetian cartographer. In 1431, he donated houses for the Estudo Geral to reunite all the sciences—grammar, rhetoric, arithmetic and astronomy—into what would become the University of Lisbon. For other subjects like medicine or philosophy, he ordered that each room should be decorated according to each subject, being taught. Henry had other resources; when John I died in 1433, Henry's eldest brother Edward of Portugal became king. He granted Henry all profits from trading within the areas he discovered as well as the sole right to authorize expeditions beyond Cape Bojador. Henry held a monopoly on tuna fishing in the Algarve; when Edward died eight years Henry supported his brother Peter, Duke of Coimbra for the regency during the minority of Edward's son Afonso V, in return received a confirmation of this levy. Henry functioned as a primary organizer of the disastrous expedition to Tangier in 1437. Henry's younger brother Ferdinand was given as a hostage to guarantee that the Portuguese would fulfill the terms of the peace agreement, made with Çala Ben Çala.
The Portuguese Cortes refused to approve the return of Ceuta in exchange for the Infante Ferdinand who remained in captivity until his death six years later. Prince Regent Peter had an important role and responsibility in the Portuguese maritime expansion in the Atlantic Ocean and Africa during his administration. Henry promoted the colonization of the Azores during Peter's regency. For most of the latter part of his life, Henry concentrated on his maritime activities, or on Portuguese court politics. According to João de Barros, in the Algarve he repopulated a village; this village was situated in a strategic position for his maritime enterprises and was called Vila do Infante. It is traditionally suggested that Henry gathered at his villa on the Sagres peninsula a school of navigators and map-makers; however modern historians hold this to be a misconception. He did employ some cartographers to chart the coast of Mauritania after the voyages he sent there, but there was no center of navigation science or observatory in the modern sense of the word, nor was th
Blaise, was a physician, bishop of Sebastea in historical Armenia. According to the Acta Sanctorum, he was martyred by being beaten, attacked with iron combs, beheaded, he is the patron saint of wool combers. In the Latin Church his feast falls on 3 February, in the Eastern Churches on 11 February; the first reference we have to him, is in manuscripts of the medical writings of Aëtius Amidenus, a court Physician of the end of the 5th or the beginning of the 6th century. Marco Polo reported the place where "Messer Saint Blaise obtained the glorious crown of martyrdom", Sebastea. However, it appears to no longer exist. From being a healer of bodily ailments, Saint Blaise became a physician of souls retired for a time to a cavern where he remained in prayer; as bishop of Sebastea, Blaise instructed his people as much by his example as by his words, the great virtues and sanctity of the servant of God were attested by many miracles. From all parts, the people came flocking to him for the cure of spiritual ills.
He is said to have been assisted by animals. In 316, the governor of Cappadocia and Lesser Armenia Agricolaus began a persecution by order of the Emperor Licinius and Saint Blaise was seized. After his interrogation and a severe scourging, he was hurried off to prison, subsequently beheaded. BHO 183; the Acts of St. Blaise, written in Greek, are medieval; the legend as given in the Grande Encyclopédie is as follows: Blaise, who had studied philosophy in his youth, was a doctor in Sebaste in Armenia, the city of his birth, who exercised his art with miraculous ability, good-will, piety. When the bishop of the city died, he was chosen to succeed him, with the acclamation of all the people, his holiness was manifest through many miracles: from all around, people came to him to find cures for their spirit and their body. In 316, the governor of Cappadocia and of Lesser Armenia, having arrived in Sebastia at the order of the emperor Licinius to kill the Christians, arrested the bishop; as he was being led to jail, a mother set her only son, choking to death of a fish-bone, at his feet, the child was cured straight away.
Regardless, the governor, unable to make Blaise renounce his faith, beat him with a stick, ripped his flesh with iron combs, beheaded him. According to the Acts, while Blaise was being taken into custody, a distraught mother, whose only child was choking on a fishbone, threw herself at his feet and implored his intercession. Touched at her grief, he offered up his prayers, the child was cured. Saint Blaise is invoked for protection against injuries and illnesses of the throat. In many places on the day of his feast the blessing of St. Blaise is given: two candles, blessed on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, are held in a crossed position by a priest over the heads of the faithful or the people are touched on the throat with them. At the same time the following blessing is given: "Through the intercession of Saint Blaise and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness"; the priest makes the sign of the cross over the faithful. As the governor's hunters led Blaise back to Sebastea, on the way, the story goes, they met a poor woman whose pig had been seized by a wolf.
At the command of Blaise, the wolf restored the pig to its owner and unhurt. When he had reached the capital and was in prison awaiting execution, the old woman whose pig he had saved came to see him, bringing two fine wax candles to dispel the gloom of his dark cell. In the West there was no cult honoring St. Blaise prior to the eighth century. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, Blaise became one of the most popular saints of the Middle Ages, his cult became widespread in Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries and his legend is recounted in the 14th-century Legenda Aurea. Saint Blaise is the saint of the wild beast, he is the patron of the Armenian Order of Saint Blaise. In Italy he is known as San Biagio. In Spanish-speaking countries, he is known as San Blas, has lent his name to many places. Several places in Portugal and Brazil are named after him, where he is called São Brás. In Italy, Saint Blaise's remains rest at the Basilica over the town of Maratea, shipwrecked there during Leo III the Isaurian's iconoclastic persecutions.
Many German churches, including the former Abbey of St. Blasius in the Black Forest and the church of Balve are dedicated to Saint Blaise/Blasius. In Cornwall the village of St Blazey derives from his name, where the parish church is still dedicated to Saint Blaise; the council of Oxford in 1222 forbade all work on his festival. There is a church dedicated to Saint Blaise in the Devon hamlet of Haccombe, near Newton Abbot, one of the country's smallest churches, it is located next to Haccombe house, the family home of the Carew family, descendants of the vice admiral on board the Mary Rose at the time of her sinking. This church, retains the office of "archpriest". There is a St. Blaise's Well In Bromley, Kent where the water was considered to have medicinal virtues. St Blaise is associated with Stretford in Lancashire. A Blessing of the Throats ceremony