Short Lives of the Saints – Saint Sebastian, Martyr

detail from the painting 'Saint Sebastian Muhlenkort'; Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, 1525, oil on canvas; Galleria Palatina, Florence, ItalyEntry

Under the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian, one of the highest officers in the Praetorian guard was the noble Saint Sebastian. A Christian and a soldier, he made use of his commanding position to succor the persecuted of the faith of Christ and uphold them in their trials. Finally denounced to Diocletian, Sebastian boldly professed himself a Christian, and was condemned by the emperor to perish by the hands of archers. The arrows, however, failing to give him the crown of martyrdom, he was beheaded by the imperial orders in the year 288.

O faithful Saint Sebastian!
The arrows long ago
Have ceased their work of torture,
And the crown is on thy brow;
Thine eyes are raised as ever,
In the fullness of their love,
But their pain hath changed to triumph,
In the glorious courts above.
– Ellen Downing

Favorite Practice – To recall daily the fact that by the Sacrament of Confirmation you are made, really and truly, a soldier of Christ.

MLA Citation

  • Eleanor Cecilia Donnelly. “Saint Sebastian, Martyr”. Short Lives of the Saints, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 1 April 2021. Web. 18 April 2021. <>