St. Sebastian

st sebastian

St. Sebastian’s birthplace and birthday are unknown. In 283, Sebastian joined the Roman army, and during his time in military service, he convinced prominent Roman individuals to convert to Christianity. He was discovered as a Christian under Emperor Diocletian, who ordered that Sebastian be tied to a pole and used as a target for archery practice. Despite his whole body being covered in arrows, he miraculously survived and was nursed back to health after someone found him. Once recovered, Sebastian searched for the emperor and publicly rebuked him for persecuting Christians. This time, Emperor Diocletian had Sebastian beaten to death, but a Christian woman found his body and buried him in the catacombs. Eighty years later, Pope Damasus I had his remains moved to Rome. During an outbreak of the plague in the 7th century, people in Rome prayed to St. Sebastian for protection. Historical records credit his intercession as the cause of their liberation from the plague. St. Sebastian is a patron saint of soldiers, athletes, and those who desire a saintly death. His feast day is January 20. 

Questions for Reflection:

  • Do you ever hide your belief in Christ in order to fit in with the crowd? How can you more boldly show your faith in today’s world? 
  • Do you think it is difficult to be a Christian today?
  • No matter what stage of life or career we choose, we are able to be a witness of Christ. How is God calling you to be a witness in your current situation?