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Saint Sebastian
Saint Sebastian

Saint Sebastian

Feast Day
Jan 20, 2013
Soldiers, Plagues, Archers, Holy Christian Death, Athletes
<p>St. Sebastian was a martyr in the early Church, who was killed during the Roman emperor Diocletian&rsquo;s persecution of the Christian.&nbsp; The details of St. Sebastian&rsquo;s martyrdom were first spoken of by the 4<sup>th</sup> century Bishop Ambrose of Milan, now St. Ambrose. According to St. Ambrose he was a man who was taught in Milan and appointed as a captain of the Praetorian Guard under Diocletian and Maximian, who were unaware that he was a Christian.&nbsp; He was said to have cured a women of her muteness, simply by his presence.&nbsp; 78 people were converted instantly when this happened. &nbsp;</p> <p>According to tradition, two brothers Mark and Marcellian, twins and Deacons, where in prison for not denouncing God.&nbsp; They were from a distinguished family and were both married, living in Rome.&nbsp; The two brothers refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods and were arrested.&nbsp; They were visited by their father and mother, Tranquillinus and Martia, to persuade them to renounce Christianity.&nbsp; Sebastian ended up converting Tranquillinus and Martia, as well as others there, totaling 16. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>Diocletian was angry that St. Sebastian betrayed him, and commanded him to be led to a field, bound to a stake, and to be shot at with arrows.&nbsp; &ldquo;And the archers shot at him till he was as full of arrows as a urchin&rdquo;, leaving him there for dead.&nbsp; Miraculously the arrows did not kill him.&nbsp; A widow, Irene of Rome, went to retrieve his body and bury it, and found he was still alive.&nbsp; She brought him back to her house and nursed him back to health.&nbsp; Some of her other residents wanted proof he was a Christian, and one was a little blind girl.&nbsp; Sebastian asked her &ldquo;Do you wish to be with God&rdquo;, and made the sign of the Cross on her head.&nbsp; She said &ldquo;yes&rdquo; and immediately regained her sight. &nbsp;</p> <p>St. Sebastian later stood on the steps of the widow&rsquo;s house and waved as Diocletian passed by.&nbsp; The emperor was surprised and angry and ordered Sebastian to be beaten to death and his body thrown into a trash pit.&nbsp; But in an apparition St. Sebastian appeard to a Christian widow, and told her where they might find his body.&nbsp; He asked that it be found and told her to bury it &ldquo;at the catacombs by the Apostles&rdquo;.&nbsp; St. Sebastian&rsquo;s remains are currently housed in Rome in the &ldquo;Basilica Apostolorum&rdquo;, built by Pope Damasus I, on the provisional tomb of St. Peter and St. Paul.&nbsp; Because St. Sebastian had been thought to have been killed by arrows, and miraculously didn&rsquo;t die, and later was killed by the same Emperor by being beaten to death, he is often referred to as the saint that was martyred twice. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></p> <p>St. Sebastian was a Christian from the early Church that worked as a guard for the emperor Diocletian.&nbsp; Diocletian had no idea that he was a Christian.&nbsp; St. Sebastian converted many people in the prison while guarding them, and performed many miracles.&nbsp; Eventually Doicletian found out and ordered him to be shot to death with arrows.&nbsp; He miraculously survived and continued to convert and heal.&nbsp; He again was caught by Diocletian and he was beaten to death.&nbsp; He is known as the saint who was martyred twice.<span> &nbsp;</span></p>