Saint Sebastian - Patron Saint of Soldiers, Athletes and Arrow Makers
According to tradition, Saint Sebastian was born in the last quarter of the third century. He was born into a noble family in Narbone, in the south of France. After studying in Milan, he went to Rome where, despite his young age, he was appointed to the rank of Commander in the Praetorian Guard under the Emperor Diocletian.
In 303, the Emperor began his persecution of Christians. Sebastian declared himself to be a follower of Christ and refused to worship pagan gods. He was condemned to death. Stripped of his regiment rank, he was bound to a tree and shot with arrows by bowmen of his own company. Though wounded, Sebastian did not die and was rescued and nursed to health by a brave Christian woman who would become Saint Irene.
After his recovery, Sebastian placed his life in jeopardy once again by appearing at Diocletian's palace to plead for mercy for the victims of his persecution. For this, Sebastian was beaten to death with clubs and his body was thrown into the sewer. His body was recovered and buried in one of the Roman catacombs that now bears his name.
Saint Sebastian was historically invoked against the black plague. He is known as the patron of arrow makers, athletes and soldiers. .