SAINTS

JAN. 20: ST. SEBASTIAN

(256-288)

St. Sebastian was a 3rd century Christian saint and a martyr. He was educated in Milan then joined the Roman Army in order to help the suffering Christians.

For his incredible service to the army, Sebastian was promoted to serve in the Praetorian Guard, the elite unit of the Imperial Roman Army whose members served as personal bodyguards and intelligence for Roman emperors. He soon became a captain.

When the authorities found out that Sebastian was a Christian and that he had been converting many soldiers, he was ordered to be killed by Mauritanian archers. Somehow, he managed to survive despite the arrows piercing through his body. He was nursed back to health by the widow of St. Catullus and St. Irene, who had earlier gone to recover his body. When Emperor Diocletian came to know that Sebastian had survived, he ordered his soldiers to capture him and beat him to death.

Over the centuries, Sebastian came to be venerated in the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. He is considered the patron of archers, soldiers and athletes, and is believed to save people against the plague. There also is a church dedicated to him in Italy that is visited by many pilgrims even today. There is a Christian catacomb below this church.

Adapted by A. J. Valentini from: Who was St. Sebastian? Everything You Need to Know. (n.d.). The Famous People. Retrieved Jan. 16, 2021, from https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/saint-sebastian-38707.php