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St. Sebastian

Nativity of Mary Marian Prayers St. Monica St. Bernadette St. Francis St. Clare St. Dominic St. Agnes St. Sebastian Angels



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Patron of archers,
athletes, & soldiers
Feast Day: Jan 20


Despite his fame as the saint shot through with arrows in many Renaissance paintings, we know little of this 3rd century Roman martyr, buried in the church catacomb bearing his name on the Appian Way.

Sebastian was born at Narbonne, Gaul.  He is patron saint of athletes because of his physical endurance and his energetic way of spreading and defending the Faith.  Sebastian is also patron to all soldiers.

He entered the Roman army under Emperor Carinus in 283 in order to defend the confessors and martyrs of his day without drawing attention to himself. He attained position of an officer in the imperial bodyguard and secretly performed many acts of love and charity for his brethren in the Faith.  His efforts kept the Faith of Marcus and Marcellian firm during their persecutions, right up to the time of their martyrdom.

When he was finally discovered to be a Christian, in 286, he was handed over to the Mauretanian archers, who tied him to a tree, and shot him with arrows.  He was healed, however, by the widowed St. Irene.  He was finally killed by the blows of a club. 

During the 14th Century, the random nature of infection with the Black Death caused people to liken the plague to their villages with being shot by an army of nature's archers. In desparation they prayed for the intercession of a saint associated with archers,  which was Saint Sebastian. He was declared patron of plague sufferers of his reported cures of those afflicted with many diseases.


Prayer to Saint Sebastian

St. Sebastian         Dear Commander at the Roman Emporer's court, you chose to be also a soldier of Christ and dared to spread faith in the King of Kings - for which you were condemned to die. Your body, however, proved athletically strong and the executing arrows extremely weak. So another means to kill you was chosen and you gave your life to the Lord. May athletes be always as strong in their faith as their Patron Saint so clearly has been. Amen.


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