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St. Sebastian

Memorial 20 January

Profile Son of a wealthy Roman family. Educated in Milan. Officer of the Imperial Roman army, and captain of the guard. Favorite of Diocletian. During Diocletian's persecution of the Christians, Sebastian visited them in prison, bringing supplies and comfort. Reported to have healed the wife of a brother soldier by making the Sign of the Cross over her. Converted soldiers and a governor. Charged as a Christian, Sebastian was tied to a tree, shot with arrows, and left for dead. He survived, and with the help of Saint Irene, recovered, and returned to preach to Diocletian.

The emperor then had him beaten to death. During the 14th century, the random nature of infection with the Black Death caused people to liken the plague to their villages being shot by an army of nature's archers. In desparation they prayed for the intercession of a saint associated with archers, and Saint Sebastian became associated with the plague.

Born at Narbonne, Gaul (part of modern France)

Died martyred c.288 at Rome, Italy Canonized Pre-Congregation

Patronage against plague, archers, armourers, arrowsmiths, athletes, bookbinders, diseased cattle, dying people, enemies of religion, fletchers ,gardeners, iron mongers, lace makers, lace workers, lead workers, masons , plague victims, police officers, Pontifical Swiss Guards, racquet makers, soldiers, police officers, stone masons, stonecutters

Representation arrows, crown, naked youth tied to a tree and shot with arrows

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