Walking with Saints May 2013
St. SEBASTIAN St Sebastian was born at Narbonne, in France though his parents were from Milan, Italy. He was a fervent servant of Christ, and though his natural inclinations gave him an aversion to a military life, yet to be better able, without suspicion, to assist the confessors and martyrs in their sufferings, he went to Rome and entered the army under the emperor Carinus about the year 283. It happened that the martyrs, Marcus and Marcellianus, under sentence of death, appeared in danger of being shaken in their faith by the tears of their friends: Sebastianâ€”seeing this, steps in and made them a long exhortation to constancy, which he delivered with the holy fire that strongly affected all his hearers. Nicostratus, another official, and his wife Zoe were also converted. It has been said that Zoe had been a mute for 6 years. However, she made known to Sebastian her desire to be converted to Christianity. As soon as she had, her speech returned to her. Nicostratus then brought the rest of the prisoners; these 16 persons were also converted by Sebastian.In the year 286, the persecution growing hot, the pope and others concealed themselves in the imperial palace, as a place of the greatest safety, in the apartments of one Castulus, a Christian officer of the court. Many of the Christian leaders of that time were arrested and killed. St. Sebastian, having sent so many martyrs to heaven before him, was himself impeached before the Emperor Diocletian, who, having grievously reproached him with ingratitude, delivered him over to certain archers of Mauritania, to be shot to death. His body was covered with arrows, and he left for dead. Widow of St. Castulus went to recover his body, she found he was still alive and nursed him back to health. Sebastian however, instead of fleeing, confronted the emperor for his unjust cruelties against the Christians. This angered the emperor; but, recovering from his surprise, he gave orders for his being seized and beat to death with cudgels, and his body thrown into the common sewer. A pious lady, called Lucina, admonished by the martyr in a vision, got it privately removed, and buried it in the catacombs at the entrance of the cemetery of Calixtus. The remains asserted to be those of Sebastian are currently housed in Rome in the Basilica Apostolorum, built byPope Damasus I in 367 on the site of the provisional tomb of St. Peter and Saint Paul.Saint Sebastian was venerated at Milan as early as the time of St. Ambrose and was buried on the Appian Way. He is patron of archers, athletes, and soldiers, and is appealed to for protection against plagues.He is
Walking with Saints May 2013 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. His efforts kept the Faith of Marcus and Marcellian firm during their persecutions, right up to the time of their martyrdom. He was declared patron of plague sufferers of his reported cures of those afflicted with many diseases.
Walking with Saints May 2013