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Saint Sebastian

This righteous man was born in Sirana City in Africa, around 380. He studied philosophy in Alexandria. He was originally a pagan guy, whom all loved because of his goodness, even Christians. They asked him to join them, and thus he got baptized by Theophilos, patriarch of Alexandria. Because of rhetoric skills and eloquent oratory he got choose by his compatriots the Alexandrians to go in a mission to king Arkadius, to who he presented his book: “Ruling Rules for Rulers”, which pleased the king, and granted Sebastian his mission request [1].

In the year 409, Sebastian was asked by the Christian of Ptolimas to flock them as their bishop, and the patriarch ordered him to accept. Thus the patriarch Theophilos ordained him a priest, then a bishop, and established him in the service of city of Ptolimas, where he expresses a great zeal in serving his people, and a special love for the poor and the needy. A story has been recounted about him asking a friend of his, who he had recently converted to Christian faith, to lend him 300 silver pieces to give to the needy, and the saint promised to address a bill to Christ asking him to pay back his friend. Sebastian’s friend gave him the money, and later Sebastian paid him back as he promised.

After a life filled with good struggle and services for his people, Saint Sebastian died in the Lord in the year 430. He left behind numerous homilies, some 150 epistles, and several eloquent philosophic and theological writings, wherein he marries Platonism to Christianity. May his prayer be with us. Amen.

[1] The original Arabic text does not explain what kind of mission was that, was it related somehow to the Church in Alexandria or not? And who this king Arkadius is?