St. Sebastian, Martyr
He was a Roman Martyr: in the "Depositio martyrum" of the chronologer of 354 it is mentioned that Sebastian was buried on the Via Appia. St. Ambrose ("In Psalmum cxviii"; "Sermo", XX, no. sliv in PL, XV, 1497) states that Sebastian came from Milan and even in the time of St. Ambrose was venerated there. It is thought that he was an officer in the imperial bodyguard and had secretly done many acts of love and charity for his brethren in the Faith. When he was finally discovered to be a Christian, in 286, he was handed over to the Mauretanian archers, who pierced him with arrows; he was healed, however, by the widowed St. Irene. He was finally killed by the blows of a club. It was the art of the Renaissance that first portrayed him as a youth pierced by arrows. In 367 a basilica which was one of the seven chief churches of Rome was built over his grave. The present church was completed in 1611 by Scipio Cardinal Borghese. His relics in part were taken in the year 826 to St. Medard at Soissons. He is the patron of archers, athletes and soldiers and is invoked against the plague. Celebrated answers to prayer for his protection against the plague are related of Rome in 680, Milan in 1575, and Lisbon in 1599.
ST. SEBASTIAN HEALED BY ST. IRENE 1
ST. SEBASTIAN HEALED BY ST. IRENE 2
MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINTS
DETAIL OF MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINTS
GOD THE FATHER WITH SAINTS
GUIDO RENI PAINTING