Fabian, a Roman, ruled the Church from the time of Maximian to that of Decius. He divided the City into seven districts and assigned a deacon to each to care for the poor. He appointed the same number of subdeacons to collect the Acts of the Martyrs from the records of the district notaries. He decreed that every year on Holy Thursday the old chrism be burned and new chrism consecrated. At length, on January 20, he was crowned with martyrdom and buried in the cemetery of Callistus on the Appian Way. Sebastian was a favorite with Diocletian for his noble birth and his bravery, and was made captain of the first company of the Praetorian guards. He aided the Christians, whose faith he secretly practiced, both by deeds and by material help and strengthened them in professing Christ. When all this was reported to Diocletian, he tried by every means to turn Sebastian away from faith in Christ. But when neither promises nor threats were successful, he ordered him to be tied to spot and shot through with arrows. The servant of God was then thought by all to be dead, but shortly afterwards, restored to health, he appeared in Diocletian's presence and boldly rebuked him for his wickedness. Then the tyrant ordered him beaten with rods until he expired. (Breviarium Romanum)
Let us pray.
Be mindful of our weakness, almighty God, and since the burden of our sins weighs heavily upon us, may the glorious intercession of thy holy Martyrs Fabian and Sebastian sustain us.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
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