Saint of the Day

January 20

Saint Fabian

Fabian succeeded Saint Antherus as pope in 236. The historian Eusebius describes Fabian's election as pope: Fabian was a layman and a stranger in Rome at the time of the election. When a dove settled upon his head, those around him were reminded of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism. The event was seen as divine intervention. Fabian was chosen pope and reigned for 14 years. He was martyred during a persecution in 250. Saint Cyprian records that Fabian was an "incomparable man."

Saint Sebastian

We know only that Sebastian was martyred in Rome, probably in the 3rd century, and buried in the catacombs. Saint Ambrose writes that Sebastian came from Milan, where he has been venerated since the 4th century. The 'Acts of Saint Sebastian' was written in the 5th century and is, for the most part, fictitious. Not until the late mediaeval period was Sebastian pictured pierced with arrows or holding an arrow.

In May 2010 Benedict XVI entrusted newly sworn-in Swiss Guards to the intercession of the Virgin Mary and to their patron saints: Sebastian, Martin and Nicholas of Flue.

©2011 Living with Christ, Novalis - Bayard Press Canada Inc., Reprinted with permission.