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Friday, January 20, 2012

Saint Fabian, Pope, & Saint Sebastian, Martyrs, January 20th

Saint Fabian, Pope, & Saint Sebastian, Martyrs,

Martyrdom of St. Fabian, Pope

Fabian was a Roman, and sat as Pope from the year 236, in the reign of the Emperor Maximin, till 250, in that of Decius. He is said to have appointed a deacon to each of the seven districts of Rome to look after the poor, and the same number of subdeacons to collect the Acts of the Martyrs from the records kept by the seven district notaries ; and to have ordained that every Maundy Thursday the old chrism should be burnt and the new consecrated. He was crowned with martyrdom on the 20th of January, in the year 250, during the persecution of Decius, and buried in the cemetery of Saint Callistus on the Appian Way, having sat in the throne of Peter fifteen years and four days. By the Pontifical Book he is said to have held five Advent ordinations, in which he ordained twenty-two p0riests, seven deacons and eleven bishops for divers Sees. * The holy Martyr Sebastian was once a great favourite of the Emperor Diocletian, both on account of his noble birth and his personal bravery, and was Captain of the First Company of the Praetorian Guards, albeit he was in secret a Christian, and often assisted other Christians by his good offices and by Alms. When these things became known, Diocletian sent for Sebastian and, after violently rebuking him, used every means to turn him from his faith in Christ. But as neither promises nor threats availed, he ordered him to be tied to a post and shot to death with arrows. * Sebastian was treated accordingly and left for dead. But when in the night a holy widow Irene went to bury him, he was found still alive. And Irene nursed him in her own house till his health was restored. Then went he, and rebuked Diocletian for his wickedness. Which same ordered him to be beaten to death with rods, under which torments the Martyr yielded his blessed soul to God, on January 20th, 288. His body was thrown into a sewer, but was later found and buried in those Catacombs over which a famous Church hath since been built, called Sebastian’s-without-the-Walls.

Protect us, O Lord, we beseech thee: who observe the feast of blessed Fabian and Sebastian, thy holy Martyrs, and grant that by their meritorious supplication we may ever find favour in thy sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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