answersLogoWhite
Conditions and Diseases
Black Death (Plagues)

Why was Saint Sebastian the patron in the black death?


Top Answer
User Avatar
Wiki User
Answered 2009-10-24 23:36:45

Saint Sebastian was a Roman nobleman in Gaul and Milan during the third century. He became an "officer of the bodyguard for the emperor Diocletian He had healing powers and it is said that he used his office to help protect persecuted Christians. After a certain knight, named Cromatius, smashed his collection of idols, Sebastian healed the knight of a serious illness. The emperor Diocletian, who is well known for persecuting Christians, learned all the Sebastian was doing, Diocletian ordered some Numidian archers to tie Diocletian to a tree and kill him with bow and arrow. That order was followed and Sebastian was shot with arrows. He, unknown to the bowmen, survived the execution and was nursed back to health by a family friend. That friend warned Sebastian to stay away from Diocletian, but Sebastian showed himself to the emperor to explain the folly of continuing the persecutions. This time, Diocletian ordered that he be beaten to death with clubs and thrown in the river.

Going back to the ancient Greek world: the god Apollo was usually a benevolent god. He, at times, was called "Alexicacus" which means "averter of ills." However, he was also spread epidemics. This he did with the use of his arrows, which, like his sister Artemis/Diana, he was a sure-shot. So, diseases were spread by arrows.

During the time of the Black Death in Europe, the 14th century, many explanations were given for the cause of the plague. Most included sin and retribution; but some thought that the plague came from "the arrows of Apollo."

A connection was then made. If Sebastian has survived the onslaught of arrows, then perhaps if his name was invoked, he could protect supplicants who called upon him. Since then paintings of Sebastian were placed in churches where the faithful could use the image of the saint as an aid in their prayers. As early as 680, during a plague in Rome, Sebastian became a plague saint (along with 13 other "Holy Helpers").

The Medieval plague lasted more than 300 years in Europe and even in the early 17th century, Jesuits would sell metal arrows that could, supposedly, protect from the plague. Miraculous wine in which arrows were dipped had the same effect.

Saint Sebastian day is January 20th. And on that day cattle must fast to remain immune from diseases.

In summary, because Sebastian survived an execution of arrows, and because plagues were delivered to man in the form of arrows, Sebastian's name was invoked to protect the faithful from the plague, he became the patron saint of the black death. He is also the patron saint of archers, cattle, soldiers, hunters, invalids of war, sickly children, the dying, and more occupations dealing with soldiering and smithing.

001
๐Ÿ™
0
๐Ÿคจ
0
๐Ÿ˜ฎ
0
๐Ÿ˜‚
0
User Avatar

Your Answer

Still Have Questions?

Related Questions

Why was Saint Sebastian the patron saint of archers?

An attempt to kill Sebastian by archers was carried out under orders from the Roman Emperor. He survived but was later beaten to death.


Who is the patron saint of the dead?

Saint Gertrude is the patron saint of the dead. Michael the Archangel and Margaret (or Marina) of Antioch are the patron saints of death. Joseph of is the patron saint of happy death. Andrew Avellino is the patron saint of sudden death


Who is the patron saint of death?

St. Joseph is the patron saint of a peaceful death.


Is Saint Joseph the patron saint of the dying?

Yes, he is the patron saint of a happy death.


Who is the patron saint of the dying?

St. Joseph is the patron saint of a happy or holy death.


Who is the patron saint of a happy death?

St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, is considered the patron saint of a happy death.


Who is the patron saint for motorists?

St Christopher, commonly revered as the patron saint of travellers.And who was St Christopher?Although a very popular 'Saint', the Catholic Church suggests that almost nothing certain is known about his life and death.


Why did Saint Sebastain become a saint?

Sebastian died the death of a martyr.


What was Saint Zoe of Rome the patron saint of?

She has no patronages. Legend has it that she was hung by her hair and roasted to death.


What is a fun fact about Saint Sebastian?

While not a 'fun fact', the fact that Sebastian was executed twice is of interest. He was left for dead after being shot with numerous arrows under orders of Emperor Diocletian. However, he survive and was killed by being beaten to death under orders of the same emperor.


What is Saint Felicity the patron of?

As per the Patron Saint Index: St. Felicity of Rome is the patron saint of:against the death of childrenagainst sterilitymartyrsto have male childrenwidows


What is Saint Felicity the patron saint of?

Felicity of Rome is the patron saint of:against the death of childrenagainst sterilitymartyrsto have male childrenwidows


When was Saint Sebastian beatified?

Sebastian was never beatified. The canonization process did not exist at the time of his death.


Where was Saint Sebastian's death?

Sebastian was killed in or near Rome.


What is Saint Felicity of Rome the patron saint of?

Felicity of Rome is the patron saint of:against the death of childrenagainst sterilitymartyrsto have male childrenwidows


Why was Saint Sebastian stoned to death?

Sebastian was not stoned to death. He was beaten to death by Roman soldiers for being a Christian under orders of the Emperor Diocletian. Answer this question...


What was Saint Margaret Mary the patron saint of?

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque is the patron saint of:against polioagainst the death of parentsdevotees of the Sacred Heartpolio patients


Is Saint Margaret Mary a patron saint?

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque is the patron saint of:against polioagainst the death of parentsdevotees of the Sacred Heartpolio patients


Is Saint Margaret of Scotland a patron saint?

Saint Margaret is the patron saint of:against the death of childrenfor learningparents of large familiesqueenswidowsDunfermline, ScotlandScotland


What is Saint Edith Stein the patron saint of?

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, also known as Edith Stein, is the patron of: against the death of parents, Europe and martyrs.


What is Saint Gemma Galigani the patron saint of?

Gemma is the patron saint of:against temptationsagainst the death of parentsagainst tuberculosisapothecariesdruggistspharmacistsstudents


What is Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque the patron saint of?

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque is the patron saint of:against polioagainst the death of parentsdevotees of the Sacred Heartpolio patients


What is Saint Julietta a patron saint of?

Julitta, also known as Julietta, mother of St. Cyriacus, is the patron saint of:death of childrensingle laywomentorture victimswidows


Who are the Fourteen Holy Helpers?

The fourteen holy helpers are a group of saint venerated together because their intercession is thought to be particularly effect, especially against various diseases. The fourteen holy helpers and their patronages are: * Saint Agathius (Also known as Saint Acacius) - Patron against headaches * Saint Barbara - Patron against fever and sudden death * Saint Blaise (Also known as Saint Blase or Saint Blasius) - Patron against illnesses of the throat * Saint Catherine of Alexandria -Patron against sudden death * Saint Christopher - Patron against bubonic plague * Saint Cyriacus - Patron against temptation on the deathbed * Saint Denis (Also known as Saint Dionysus) - Patron against Headaches * Saint Erasmus (Also known as Saint Elmo) - Patron against intestinal ailments * Saint Eustace (Also known as Saint Eustachius or Saint Eustathius) - Patron against family discord * Saint George - Patron for the heath of domestic animals * Saint Giles Giles (Also known as Saint Aegidius) - Patron against plague and for a good confession * Saint Margaret of Antioch - Patron for childbirth * Saint Pantaleon - Patron for physicians * Saint Vitus (Also known as Saint Guy) - Patron against epilepsy


Who is the Catholic patron saint against sudden death?

The patron saints against sudden death are:AldegundisAndrew AvellinoBarbaraChristopher


Still have questions?