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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Saint Sebastian


I recently compiled the following information for the Coven.  It occurred to be that other folks might find some interest in this as well.  It is just a bit of history about my family and the patron saint from the town where the paternal side of my family both cam from and immigrated to.  Enjoy!

I wanted to mention a little bit of family history.  My dad’s family originated in Melilli, Sicily.  The immigrated to Middletown, CT with LOTS of other Sicilians at the turn of the last century.  Middletown and Melilli are considered sister cities and they both celebrate a feast day on May 4th dedicated St Sebastian.  The feast is called "Festa dei Nuri". (Festival of the Naked).

Unofficially, he is associated with Apollo and some feel that he is a patron/protector of LGBT folks.

Martyr
Born c. 256;  Died c. 288
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church

Feast: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendar_of_saints>
January 20 (Catholic)
December 18 (Eastern Orthodox)
May 4 (Melilli Sicily & Middletown, CT)

Attributes: arrows <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_symbology>

Patronage: Soldiers, plagues, arrows, athletes, Patron Saint of Middletown, CT and Melilli, Sicily

Because Sebastian had been thought to have been killed by the arrows, and yet was not, and then later was killed by the same emperor who ordered him shot, he is sometimes known as the saint who was martyred twice.

Saint Sebastian as an LGBT icon -
Many LGBT writers and artists have interpreted Sebastian’s life story as suggesting that he was gay. This association was first made explicit in 1909 by Georges Eekhond’s “Saint Sébastien Dans la Peinture,” but existed anecdotally earlier. Oscar Wilde, for example, used Sebastian Melmoth as an alias during his declining years in Paris.


Some other info if you are interested –

Info on Melilli can be found here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melilli

Info on St Sebastian here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Sebastian


Thus endeth today’s history lesson.

Ciao,

---Vinnie


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