….and work yesterday prevented me going to church. I am a wretched Catholic.
But! Happy Feast of Saint Sebastian! This guy is one of those saints who you’ve seen, even if you don’t actually know who he is. If you have been inside an art museum, ever, you have seen a painting of Saint Sebastian. He’s the guy who’s been shot full of arrows but always manages to look pretty okay with it.
Source: Saint Sebastian Gallery. This is the most realistically pained picture I could find.
Source. “UGH. FUCKING ARROWS. GAWD.”
Source. “Have I left the oven on?”
Sebastian, in summary: He was a converted Roman who was martyred for spreading Christianity too enthusiastically among the military and lower-political Romans he hung out with, and is especially loved because according to tradition, he was martyred twice – the arrows didn’t do the job the first time and one St. Irene was able to nurse him back to health while he lay in a field full of arrows. So he did the very logical thing, as all saints do, and went back to go ask the guy who’d ordered his execution whether he had a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The guy, as it happens, did not, and Sebastian was beaten to death and thrown into a sewer, and the martyrdom job done properly. Catholics get very excited about this. Martyrdom in and of itself is your get-out-of-purgatory-free card; doing it twice? Sebastian is the patron of being Pretty Goddamn Metal.
He is also the patron saint of archers– which– okay, look, we do this all the time and I don’t understand it. A martyr is almost always the patron of the instrument of their martyrdom, and the weirder the better. Saint Blaise, for example, is the patron saint of wool carders, because he was killed by an angry mob armed with wool combs. You’d really think the saints themselves would be opposed to this! “What’s that, Lord? Patron of athletes? Yeah, that’s all right. Patron of the dying? Well, I guess I know something about that, so, cool– wait, archers? You want me to guide and protect those fuckers? Uh, what the shit, Lord?”
Saint Sebastian! Celebrity of the early church! The best excuse any Renaissance painter could think of to paint swooning graceful narrow-waisted menfolk making odd faces! And here’s a cool and cynical song about him:
Sins like this give sadomasochism a bad name