Ss. Fabianus and Sebastianus
Fabian; Pope and martyr; 250
Feast day: January 20
Fabianus came from Rome, and was probably born towards the end of the second century. In 236 he succeeded Saint Anterus, also known as Anteros or Anterius, as bishop of Rome. He reigned as Pope from 236-250.
He was known for his love for the poor and his care for Christian cemeteries. He had the relics of Pontianus and Hippolytus interred in Rome.
Shortly after his election, Maximinus' Christian persecution ended with the emperor's murder. The following emperors favored the Christians. Therefore the Church enjoyed rest under Fabianus, which the Pope used for the organization of the Church. He assigned to each of the seven deacons a part of the city for the relief of the poor. The seven deacons had to collect the deeds of the martyrs.
Fabianus was zealous for the relief of the poor as well as the Liturgy. Only after a year was he succeeded by Saint Cornelius. In the meantime, antipope Novatianus led the Christian community. Under the emperor Decius the persecution of Christians started again and on 20 January 250 Fabianus was murdered by the Romans. That is why he is canonized. Later, some of Fabian's relics ended up in the Basilica of Saint Sebastian of Rome. Hence he is celebrated on the same day as Sebastianus is always mentioned in the same breath as him.
He is the patron of potters and tinsmiths.
Sebastian; martyr † 258
Feast day: January 20
According to legend, he came from the southern French city of Narbonne, but the holy bishop Ambrosius claimed that he came from his episcopal city of Milan. It is also known that he was an officer in the Roman army. He was a favorite of Emperor Diocletian, who is known as a feared persecutor of Christians. Sebastianus even made it to commander of the Praetorian Guard (the elite corps of the Imperial bodyguard).
Presumably his parents were already Christians. Sebastian is said to have secretly converted to Christianity because Christians were being persecuted, even though this was forbidden in the Roman Empire. He secretly helped fellow Christians to escape persecution from the Romans. Diocletian tried in every possible way to make Sebastian apostate from the Faith in Christ.
When the emperor failed, he sentenced him to death. Sebastian was tied to a tree and riddled with arrows by army archers. When released, it was discovered that he was still breathing. He was eventually clubbed to death and thrown into the sewer. He died on January 29, 288.
He was buried in the catacomb with a glorious basilica in Rome named after him.
Patron Saint for archers, soldiers, hunters, stonemasons, gardeners, tailors, firefighters.