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Saint Sebastian

Sebastian, Saint, fl. 3d cent.?, Roman martyr. Little is known of his life. According to tradition he was an officer of the Praetorian guards much favored by Emperor Diocletian, who did not know that Sebastian was a Christian. When the emperor learned of it, he ordered Sebastian killed by archers. Left for dead with arrows in his body, Sebastian recovered but was later beaten to death on the order of Diocletian. He was a favorite subject of Renaissance painters. Feast: Jan. 20.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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