Thursday, April 26, 2012

Saint Sebastian


St. Sebastian (256-288)
Feastday: January 20

Patronage: Soldiers, archers, athletes and is appealed to for protection against plagues.


Sebastian was born to a wealthy Roman family at Narbonne, Gaul. His parents are from Milan, Italy and he was educated in Milan.  Sebastian was a fervent servant of Christ and in his desire to help the persecuted Christian, he went to Rome and entered the army. During the persecution of the Christians when Diocletian was the emperor, Sebastian became an officer of the Imperial Roman army and was named captain in the praetorian guards.

Instead of making the prisoners suffer, Sebastian ministered to the prisoners and encouraged them to remain firm in their faith. He would give food and comfort them as well.  Because of this, many Christians held on to their faith and died a martyr's death. St. Sebastian's presence was said to have brought miraculous healing and he made numerous converts including soldiers, prefect of Rome and a governor. 

When it was discovered that Sebastian was indeed a Christian and that he was helping the prisoners, he was ordered executed. He was tied to a tree and shot with arrows and left for dead.  But when the widow of St. Castulus went to recover his body, she found Sebastian still alive. Soon after, Sebastian was at it again denouncing the Emperor for his cruelty to Christian. This didn't last long however, for on the Emperor's orders, Sebastian was beaten to death.


Reflections:

Great was his love for Christ and his fellow Christian that Sebastian risk his life to be with them and minister to them.  He did not only encourage them to remain firm in their faith.  But he too lived and died remaining firm to his faith and defending it till the end.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Saint Lucy also known as Saint Lucia or Santa Lucia


Feast day: December 13
(283–304) VIRGIN, MARTYR
Patron of Blindness/eye problems

Saint Lucy or Santa Lucia's name is derived from Lux/Lucis which means
"light" and she is also the patron saint of the blind and those with eye
problems.

Lucy was a young, wealthy Christian lady of Syracuse, Sicily.  Her mother
singly took care of her as she lost her father when she was still an
infant. As she grew older, her mother urged Lucy to marry a young pagan
gentleman.  Her mother didn't know then that Lucy has already chosen to
live single for the Lord and has consecrated her life  to the service of
Christ.  Her mother continued to press Lucy to marry but she refused. When
her mother was afflicted with sickness and for four years suffered from it.

 Lucy persuaded her mother to go to Catania where the tomb of Saint Agatha
(patroness of Catania) was already a site of pilgrimage to ask for her
intercession.  It was here that Lucy disclosed her desire to devote herself
to God and convinced her mother that the dowry be spent on alms so that she
might retain her virginity.

Healed by the divine power, Lucy's mother, Eutychia, relented and allowed
Lucy to pursue her pious inclinations.

The young gentleman, however, did not take this kindly and in his rage
denounced her as a Christian to the governor of Syracuse.

Saint Lucy died a Christian martyr during the Diocletian persecution.

The relics of Saint Lucy were venerated in a church dedicated to her in
Venice until 1961 when it was demolished and transferred to the church of
San Geremia.


Reflection:

During Diocletian's reign, many Christians suffered much torture and painful death for their faith.  St. Lucy was one of those who stood up with courage in defense of the faith.  At an early age, she committed her life fully to God, she chose to stay single and committed her life to God until she died.  May we also impart to the little kids the same faith and trust that Saint Lucy demonstrated.  We may live and die for Christ who is the way, the truth and the life.