This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Friday, 20 January 2017

20th January, St Fabian, Pope, and St Sebastian, Martyr

St Fabian, Pope, and St Sebastian, Martyr

The two great Roman martyrs, Fabian and Sebastian, made manifest the first in 250 in the persecution of Decius, the second in 284 in that of Diocletian, the divine power of Christ "who operated wonders in them" (Gradual). The ancient martyrologies unite their names.

The appearance of the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove, had attested the divinity of Jesus on the day ot His Baptism. It was also a dove hovering above Fabian that pointed him out to the Church as vicar of Jesus Christ.

St. Sebastian, an officer of the imperial household and commander of a cohort, encouraged his brothers in arms subjected to torments on account of their faith. Diocletian ordered him to be pierced with arrows. Sebastian, having escaped death, reappeared before the emperor and reproached him with his crimes. He was condemned to be flogged to death.

Like the martyrs mentioned in the Epistle, these two saints "were found perfect in the testimony they bore of their faith in Jesus Christ," for "it is for the cause of the Son of Man that they suffered persecution" (Gospel). Numerous cures were wrought by St. Sebastian or rather by the virtue of Christ which was in him (Gospel and Communion).

Let us in our weakness have recourse (Collect) to the powerful protection of these glorious martyrs.

Intret in conspectu tuo, Domine, gemitus compeditorum: redde vicinis nostris septuplum in sinu eorum: vindica sanguinem sanctorum tuorum, qui effusus est. * Deus, venerunt gentes in haereditatem tuam: polluerunt templum sanctum tuum: posuerunt Jerusalem in pomorum custodiam.
Let the sighing of the prisoners come in before Thee, O Lord; render to our neighbours sevenfold in their bosom; revenge the blood of Thy saints, which hath been shed. * O God, the heathens are come into Thy inheritance: they have defiled Thy holy temple: they have made Jerusalem as a place to keep fruit.
(Psalm 78:11-12,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Infirmitatem nostram respice, omnipotens Deus: et, quia pondus propriae actionis gravat, beatorum Martyrum tuorum Fabiani et Sebastiani intercessio gloriosa nos protegat.
Mercifully look on our weakness, O almighty God; since the weight of our own evil deeds bears us down, may the glorious intercession of Thy blessed martyrs, Fabian and Sebastian, be our protection.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia -
St Sebastian:
St Fabian:

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