Saint Sebastian


My name is Sebastian. I lived about the same time as Saint Laurence and Saint Martin. I was a member of the Imperial Guard in Rome, and though it was illegal to be a Christian, I professed my faith and encouraged other Christians who were suffering. So they shot me with arrows, like the one I'm holding. Ever since, Christians have prayed to me when they’ve needed strength to hold firm to their faith.

Neri di Bicci speaks: Saint Sebastian is a good saint to have around these days, because we pray to him to prevent plagues. What a martyr! What a hero! Most artists show Sebastian stuck full of arrows, but I wanted to do something a little more subtle. I gave Sebastian one arrow and a palm to carry. He’s wearing a splendid robe of bright vermilion, and underneath it he has a dark green tunic. You can tell he’s quite well off by the vermilion stockings he is wearing. Most of my other saints are barefoot!

Saint Sebastian, you were willing to die
rather than renounce your faith in Jesus Christ.
Help us to treasure the word of God
above all other things.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us!


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