San Sebastiano Patron Of Palazzolo Acreide

His story is a bit extreme, however, it’s a good reminder to me to keep the faith and get up again over and over.

Although San Sebastiano lived and died in Rome, in Sicily on January 20, the early Christian martyr is celebrated with fervor in the towns of Acireale (Catania), Tortorici (Messina), and Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto (Catania), and Palazzolo Acreide (Siracusa), where this personal altar sits in the outside wall of a palazzo. Saint Sebastian, who is the patron saint of police, soldiers, archers, and holy death, was ordered to be killed in the late 3rd century because of his devotion to Christianity, which was illegal to practice at the time.

In their first attempt at executing him, as ordered by the Roman Emperor Diocletian, his fellow military serviceman used him as a target for their archery practice, which is the reason he is most often depicted tied to a tree with arrows penetrating his body. Sebastian was left to die, however he was nursed back to health by a fellow Christian. His recovery and survival only made his faith stronger. Eventually, authorities learned of his recovery, and he was clubbed and left for dead in a Roman sewer by Diocletian’s men. Sicily’s citizens revere San Sebastiano because he is credited with eradicating a terrible plague that afflicted the island in the late 1620s.