Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Feast of St. Sebastian

Today is the feast day of St. Sebastian (D. 288).  He is the patron saint of athletes, soldiers and archers, and he is the patron of our school.  When we began homeschooling, I wanted to give our school a name, and I left that name up to the boys. They chose St. Sebastian for his heroic example, strength, courage and probably because they thought he was invincible!  Even after being shot with "thousands" (in their words) of arrows he still survived! Here's an abbreviated note on his life (events taken from Suzanne Fowler's "Building the Family" cookbook):
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Saint Sebastian was a Roman officer in the Imperial Guard and served under the Emperor Diocletian.  Sebastian secretly became a Christian while remaining an officer, hoping to convert others to Christianity (sneaky and brave!).  Once his true identity was discovered, he was sentenced to death.  Tied to a tree and shot by archers, he was left for dead.
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A Christian woman named Irene took pity on Sebastian and compassionately began preparations for his burial. It was then that she discovered that he was alive.  She cared for him until he regained his health and strength.  Refusing to hide his true identity, Sebastian curagiously approached the Emperor asking him to denounce his persecution of Christians.  His persuasion was unsuccessful, and the cowardly Diocletian once again ordered Sebastian's death.

Prior to Sebastian's death, he was known to have visited those imprisoned for their faith, converted many to Christianity, healed a mute woman, and baptized numerous individuals as well.
Today we celebrated his feast day with a special breakfast.
The arrow is the traditional symbol used to represent Saint Sebastian.  We translated that into our baking, and made cinnamon sugar bread arrows.
We were all so happy that Steve could join us for breakfast this morning before heading out to work.  He read to the boys the story of St. Sebastian, and then engaged in what we like to call "man talk" (this usually occurs when mom is not around and the boys are engaged in some type of masculine activity.  (I sat in for this one!).
Dad:  "So boys, what do you think it means to be a man?"
Silence.  More silence.
(Food has a mysterious way of impairing contemplative abilities....)

Dad:  "Ok, what do you think makes a man?"
Benedict: "Prayer?" (Love those 1st born, parent-pleasing answers!)

Dad:  "Why?"

Ben:  "Because, it helps you to be more like Jesus."
Dad:  "Ok, Andrew, what do you think?"

Andrew:  "Beer. Beer makes a man, Dad." 

(From this point on, "man-talk" consisted of conversation that included words like muscles, burps, get the has exited the table and is now doing a pile of dishes to the chorus of side splitting laughter.)
(By the way - it's apple juice, not beer, but we're not above pretending!)

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