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San Sebastian between history and legend.
The saint did everything he could to support imprisoned Christians, provide for the burial of martyrs and spread Christianity among court officials and soldiers, taking advantage of his imperial office.
When Diocletian, who hated Christians, discovered Sebastian’s secret, he sentenced him to death, having him tied to a stake at a site on the Palatine Hill, where he was pierced by a multitude of arrows all over his body.
The soldiers left him on the spot believing him dead, but Santa Irene, who went to retrieve his body to give him burial, realized that the soldier was still alive, so she transported him to her home on the Palatine and cured him of his wounds.
Sebastiano, after recovering, even though his friends advised him to leave the city, decided to proclaim his faith in the presence of the emperor who had inflicted the torture on him.
The saint joined Diocletian and his associate Maximian, who presided over the functions in the temple erected by Elagabalus, in honor of the Invicting Sun, and condemned them for persecutions against Christians.
Seeing his soldier still alive, the emperor ordered that Sebastian be scourged to death, a sentence that was carried out in the Palatine racecourse, and then threw his body into the Cloaca Maxima.
The body is now buried in the catacombs which are precisely called San Sebastiano’s.
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