The feast day of St. Sebastian is celebrated on January 20. He is the patron saint of athletes and plague sufferers. He died a martyr in 268.
The legend of St. Sebastian begins with Sebastian joining the Roman army to support and assist Christians and martyrs. The emperor did not know he was a Christian. He was named Captain. While serving as a soldier he converted many to the faith. When it was discovered that he was a Christian, Emperor Dioletian ordered him shot to death. His body was pierced with arrows and he was left for dead. Those who came to bury him found him still alive. He recovered but refused to flee. One day he met the emperor and denounced him for his cruelty to Christians. This time Sebastian was beaten to death with clubs. He is buried in the Appian Way near the catacombs.
St. Ambrose venerated St. Sebastian as a Saint in the early church. St. Sebastian is considered the patron saint of athletes because of his physical endurance and energetic way of evangelizing. He is also the patron of plague sufferers because of the healings said to have occurred by his prayers.
“The devil strains every nerve to
secure the souls which belong to Christ.
We should not grudge our toil
wrestling them from Satan and
giving them back to God.”
Quote of St. Sebastian
January is the Month of the Holy Name.