Feast of the day

Feast Of The Day

1/20/2021 12:00:00 AM

(c. 257-c. 288)

        St. Sebastian was an officer in the Roman army, esteemed by pagans as a good soldier, and honored by the Church as a champion of Jesus Christ. Born at Narbonne, France, Sebastian came to Rome about the year 284. There, he found twin brothers Marcus and Marcellinus in prison for the faith, and when they were near yielding to entreaties, encouraged them to despise flesh and blood and die to themselves for Christ. God confirmed his words by miracle: light shone around him while he spoke; he cured the sick by his prayers; and in this divine strength led many to the faith, among them the Prefect of Rome, with his son Tiburtius.

        Sebastian saw his disciples die before him, and one of them came back in vision to tell him that his own end was near. It was during a contest of fervor and charity that St. Sebastian found the occasion of martyrdom. The Prefect of Rome, after his conversion, retired to his estates in Campania, and took a great number of his fellow-converts with him to this place of safety. It was a question of whether Polycarp, a priest, or St. Sebastian should accompany the neophytes. Both were eager to stay and face the danger at Rome, but at last the Pope decided that the Roman church could not spare Sebastian's services. Thus St. Sebastian continued to labor at his post till he was betrayed by a false disciple. He was led before Diocletian, and at the emperor's command, was shot with arrows and left for dead. But God raised him up; and of his own accord, he went before the emperor and conjured him to stay the persecution of the Church. Again sentenced, St. Sebastian was at last beaten to death by clubs - crowning his labors by the merit of a double martyrdom.