MEMORIAL: JANUARY 20
Today we celebrate two Roman saints from the 3rd century who were martyred by the Roman persecutions. Legend has it that St. Fabian was originally a farmer and came into Rome to witness the election of a new pope. During the deliberation, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended upon Fabian, and those present took it as a sign and elected Fabian as pope. He would serve as Pope for 12 years until he was joyfully martyred. You can still visit his grave in the catacombs today.
St. Sebastian was said to be a Roman soldier who joined the Roman army to aid Christians in times of persecution. Known for his exceptional service, he was elevated to the Emperor Diocletian’s Praetorian guard. After converting many prominent officials to Christianity, Sebastian was discovered and used as target practice in the archery range. Believed to be dead, Sebastion’s body was discovered by Christians and nursed back to health. When Sebastion confronted Diocletian to reveal he was alive and scolded him for persecutions, Diocletian had him clubbed to death. St. Sebastian is known as the patron saint of athletes.