The name Blaž originates from Latin word Blasisus, i.e. Greek word Blásios. There are two interpretations for the meaning of the latter word. According to one side, it is of Armenian descent, but its meaning is unknown; others, however, believe it originates from the Greek adjective blaisós, meaning he who has crooked legs (the corresponding Latin adjective is blaesus, meaning stuttering). This would mean that the name Blaž denotes some kind of physical disability, but that meaning is now long lost. There are a few variants of this name, like Blaža, Blažek, Blaško and Blažan, including Vlaho and Vlahica, which are based on Greek pronunciation.
Saint Blaise is a very popular saint, especially in Croatia. He has been the patron saint of Dubrovnik since the 10th century. His relicts are kept in the cathedral bearing his name, and every year a great celebration is held in his honour.
This saint is protector form throat and neck diseases. We do not know much about his life and martyrdom, but the legend says he was a doctor before becoming a bishop in Sebaste, Armenia. He was caught during the reign of Licinius. When they were taking him to the judge, he performed a miracle – through prayer and blessing, he saved a boy who was choking on a fishbone. This was the reason he died a martyr. Actually, after being tortured the first time, God healed him and he only died after being beheaded. This story is the reason why on February 3rd, the feast day of Saint Blaise, priests perform the Blessing of the Throats.