Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January 20: Saint Sebastian


Sebastian was a Christian in the third century. He joined the Roman army to encourage and protect other Christians during a time when it was illegal to worship Christ. After helping a number of people convert to Catholicism, he was discovered. Emperor Diocletian had Sebastian tied to a post and used for target practice by Roman archers. Miraculously, he did not die. A Christian lady helped him recover. Sebastian went looking for Diocletian and publicly scolded him for persecuting Christians. Diocletian was very surprised to see Sebastian still alive, but instead of recognizing the miracle, he once again ordered Sebastian's execution. This time, he died and went to heaven. 


St. Sebastian is the patron saint of Sicily (in Italy), and there is a huge celebration on his feast day every year. One of the most fun activities for children is the tamborrada, a huge parade of thousands of children playing drums. Today, make your own drums  and have a little parade to celebrate St. Sebastian's brave faith. One of the easiest way to make a drum is to cut the neck off a balloon and stretch it over an oatmeal canister, plastic jar or tin can. Secure the balloon with a rubber band. 

Saint Sebastian, pray for us!

More reading for parents: