Who is Saint Sebastian?

The oldest historical account of the saint is found in a commentary on the psalms by St. Ambrose; the passage reads:

“Allow me to propose to you the example of the holy martyr Sebastian. By birth he was a Milanese. Perhaps the persecutor of Christians had left Milan, or had not yet arrived, or had become momentarily more tolerant. Sebastian believed that here there was no opportunity for combat, or that it had already passed. So he went to Rome, the scene of bitter opposition arising from the Christians’ zeal for the faith. There he suffered, there he gained the crown.”

Saint Sebastian was widely venerated during the Middle Ages

Known as a protector against the plague – Legend has it that when an altar was dedicated in his honor in Rome, a great pestilence was ended.

Diocletian tried by every means to turn Sebastian from the faith of Christ. After all efforts had proven fruitless, he ordered him tied to a post and pierced with arrows.

According to legend, rescued and healed by Irene of Rome. Shortly afterwards he criticized Diocletian in person and as a result was clubbed to death.

Saint Sebastian is the Patron Saint of Soldiers. He is also known for these others:

Archers; armourers; arrowsmiths; athletes; bookbinders; diseased cattle; dying people; enemies of religion; fletchers; gardeners; iron mongers; lacemakers; laceworkers; lead workers; masons; plague; police; racquet makers; Rio de Janeiro; Spanish police officers; stone masons; stonecutters.

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Author: Kevin Smith

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