St. SebastianSaint Sebastian was an undercover Christian for most of his life. He was born into nobility and joined the Imperial Roman army only to keep his cover as a typical noble pagan. He moved through the ranks of the army and quickly became a captain of the guard and an Imperial officer. St. Sebastian spent most of his time ministering and converting countless prisoners of the Roman Army. He was a gifted healer with the Sign of the Cross and converted soldiers as well as the governor of Rome. Saint Sebastian was discovered and eventually martyred.

What makes Saint Sebastian so special?

  • Saint Sebastian was discovered to be a Christian when he converted the Roman governor Chromatius whom proceeded to resign his post and free 16 converts from prison upon converting. Emperor Diocletian came to the conclusion that Saint Sebastian was a Christian and ordered him tied to a stake and shot to death by arrows in a field. Saint Sebastian endured the arrows and was soon to die until St. Irene of Rome found him and nursed him back to health! How did Saint Sebastian respond to being healed? He marched up to Diocletian and PREACHED TO HIM!! Diocletian was obviously shocked to see the man he thought dead come preach to him in the middle of the day. It’s one thing to survive attempted martyrdom and go on living your life but its another thing to turn around and preach to the man who signed your death warrant in the first place!

  • But the story doesn’t end there, as if the story isn’t marvelous enough! Upon preaching to Diocletian, St. Sebastian was ordered to be martyred AGAIN! And this time he was to be beaten to death and then tossed into the sewers! Diocletian was certainly not prepared to have St. Sebastian return once more.

Little tidbits of Saint Sebastian

  • He is the patron of archers (obviously), athletes (for his energetic evangelization), and dying people (he was dying before being saved by St. Irene).

  • Recently, one can find St. Sebatian Medals affiliated with many different sports as popular modern intercession of St. Sebastian has centered on athletics.

  • St. Sebastian is typically represented with arrows in his flesh or being saved by Saint Irene.

  • He is buried along the Appian way and has one of the seven principal churches of Rome built over his relics and burial site.

  • St. Sebastian is also a patron against plagues as once a plague was afflicting the Lombards and therefore they built an altar to him in the Church of Saint Peter in the Province of Pavia which ended the plague.


Saint Sebastian was obviously an incredible healer, evangelist, and overall Christian. He was martyred in 288 and was educated in Milan. Saint Sebastian’s feast day is January 20th. There are multiple St. Sebastian Prayers relating to his patronage.

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  1. katie abbott says

    Thank you for your article on St Sebastian. Could you recommend a DVD of St. Sebastian’s life which would be appropriate and appealing to a young man, 16yr old, who will be confirmed this Easter.
    thank you,
    katie abbott

  2. Ouseph Arimboor says

    The Roman Catholics of Syro Malabar Rite in Kerala, India, have a role model saint in St. Sebastian and the feast celebrations inspire the youth greatly. This Sunday we celebrated the saint’s feast too in our church in Mumbai in a befitting manner. The traditional celebrations are to be seen for believing. Everybody is welcome to visit Kerala in the month of January to experience the spirit and the deep belief in the healing powers of the sait.

  3. Taryn Herndon says

    During a St. Sebastian novena at our parish, a child asked how many arrows was St. Sebastian shot with? Good question! Is there a reference anywhere that states how many arrows he endured?

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