Feast Day: January 20
Patron Saint of: archers, athletes
Saint Sebastian, of Narbonne, France, a Christian at the time, joined the ranks of the Roman army in 283 A.D. Sebastian used his post as a soldier, and the opportunities it presented, to comfort the Christians being persecuted by Emperor Diocletain for their faith. Sebastian convinced a Roman jailer and his wife to become Christians. Later, Sebastian used his healing abilities, curing the prefect of Rome of gout, as an opportunity to evangelize and successfully converted the prefect to Christianity - the prefect promptly released many of the Christians under his persecutory control.
Despite his success in evangelization from within the ranks of the Roman army, he was recognized as being a model soldier and was honored by the Emperor with an appointment to the ranks of captain in the praetorian guard. It wasn't much longer that St. Sebastian's deeds caught up with him. The Emperor first discovered the conversions of the Roman jailer and his wife and then the prefect before finding the source. Sebastian was sentenced to death by archer firing guard, but against all odds, he survived the execution. Not to be deterred, as soon as Sebastian's health returned, he publically challenged the Emperor and his persecution of the Christians. Sebastian was immediately sentenced to death, this time by clubbing. After this second execution, his body was retrieved by the Christians and was buried in the spot where San Sebastiano Church now stands.