Son of a wealthy Roman family. Educated in Milan. Officer of the Imperial Roman army, and captain of the guard. Favorite of Diocletian. During Diocletian’s persecution of the Christians, Sebastian visited them in prison, bringing supplies and comfort. Reported to have healed the wife of a brother soldier by making the Sign of the Cross over her. Converted soldiers and a governor.
Based on popular belief, St. Sebastian was charged as a Christian, tied to a tree, shot with arrows, and left for dead. He survived, recovered, and returned to preach to Diocletian. The emperor then had him beaten to death.
During the 14th century, the random nature of infection with the Black Death caused people to liken the plague to their villages being shot by an army of nature’s archers. In desperation they prayed for the intercession of a saint associated with archers, and Saint Sebastian became associated with the plague.
St. Sebastian was chosen as our parish name in honor of Archbishop Sebastian Messmer, who led the archdiocese when the parish was formed.