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Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, by Il Sodoma, c. 1525

Feast of Saint Sebastian

(d. c. 288 A.D.)

St. Sebastian was born in Gaul, present-day France, to wealthy Italian parents. According to tradition he went to Rome to serve and encourage the Christians who were being persecuted under the Roman Emperor Diocletian. To do so effectively and without suspicion, he enrolled in the Roman army as an officer. In this position he did much to encourage the faith of the Christians in the face of brutal martyrdom, and in the process made many new converts through his gift of healing. Once he was discovered to be a Christian, he was seized by Roman officers, tied to a tree, and shot through with arrows. He survived this, and was healed by St. Irene of Rome. Being fully recovered, he returned to preach to Diocletian himself. Diocletian then had him beaten to death with clubs. St. Sebastian is the patron of many causes, most notably of archers, athletes, police officers, soldiers, and against plague victims and enemies of religion. St. Sebastian’s feast day is January 20th.
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O valiant warriors of Christ! Do not cast away your everlasting crowns of victory.”

Saint Sebastian
Saint Sebastian, Gerrit van Honthorst, ca 1623, National Gallery, London

Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”

Saint Clement I, pope
Guido Reni, Saint Sebastian, between 1617 and 1619, Museo del Prado, Madrid

Saint Sebastian, martyr, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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