In order to help his fellow Christians who were dying as martyrs, he went to Rome and enlisted in the army. He became an officer and a great favorite of the Emperor Diocletian. Diocletian made him a captain. In this position, Sebastian converted many to Jesus. When the twin brothers, Mark and Marcellinus were put in prison for the faith, their pagan family kept trying to persuade them to deny Jesus. The two brothers were finding it hard to remain strong. But Sebastian came to encourage them, and they went bravely to their martyrdom. What is more, their family became Christians, too. And Sebastian also converted the jailor and sixty-four prisoners! At last, a false disciple betrayed him to the Emperor. Diocletian tried in every way to make his captain Sebastian give up the Christian faith, but he would not. Then the Emperor accused him of being ungrateful. He called him a traitor. " I am not disloyal to you," answered Sebastian. " I am very faithful to you and grateful. That is why I am praying to the true God for you and for the Roman Empire." But in anger Diocletian ordered Sebastian to be killed with arrows.
The archers shot arrows into every part of the brave soldier's body and then left him for dead. When a holy widow came to bury him, she found him still alive. She took him to her home and nursed his wounds. When Sebastian was well enough, the widow tried to persuade him to escape, but Sebastian was a brave soldier of Christ and he would not leave. Instead he went out to meet the Emperor and urged him to stop his persecution of
the Christians. The Emperor was greatly shocked to see Sebastian alive. At once he ordered him to be beaten with clubs until dead. So it was that St. Sebastian suffered two martyrdoms.
We should always encourage our friends to do good. This is the best way to be a real friend to others.
A coloring picture can be found below.