The Season of Epiphany, a time to witness our Faith!
Tomorrow we recall a vibrant, valiant and vigorous saint – St. Sebastian - who witnessed Christ in his life, ministry and mission as well!
According to Christian tradition, he was born in Gaul, went to Rome, and joined (C. 283) the imperial army of the Emperor Carinus, later becoming a captain under Emperor Diocletian. Even though he was a firm believer in Jesus Christ, in the beginning he spent most of his time under cover, and encouraging and converting countless prisoners of the Roman army, as well as the Roman governor, Chromatius, to Christianity.
Emperor Diocletian realizing that Sebastian was a Christian, converting his soldiers, including governor Chromatius to Christian faith, ordered him to be tied to a stake in a field and shot to death by arrows. Sebastian endured the suffering from arrows and was soon to die, until St. Irene of Rome recovered his body and nursing him back to health. Saint Sebastian was eventually caught and was ordered to be martyred for his faith again! And this time he was to be beaten to death with clubs and his body tossed into the sewers.
Saint Sebastian was an incredible healer, evangelist, and model Christian soldier. He was martyred in 288 A.D., and is buried along the Appian Way in Rome, and one of the seven principal churches of Rome is built over his relics and burial site. His feast day is celebrated on January 20th.
He is the Patron of Archers, Athletes and dying people. We can find St. Sebastian’s Medal for just about every sport, as popular modern intercession of St. Sebastian. St. Sebastian is also a Patron against plagues. Once a plague was afflicting the Lombard people and began to spread throughout the province of Pavia, they built an altar to St. Sebastian in the Church of Saint Peter in the Province of Pavia. The plague was ended immediately.
Let the intercession and prayers of St. Sebastian help all of us to be proud of our faith and to live and die for our faith as well. Every morning the Lord opens the door of our life with a new love. Let this New Year be a time to enjoy our life in Jesus and a life together with our families, a life with our community.
Fr. John Melepuram
Vicar / Pastor