Oil Dedicated to St Sebastian (Patron for Cyclists)
St Sebastian , (died c. 288, Rome [Italy]; feast day January 20), early Christian saint popularized by Renaissance painters and believed to martyred during the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletian. A patron saint of archers and athletes and of those who desire a saintly death. He also venerated as a protector from the bubonic plague and as a patron of plague victims.
According to his legend, born in Gaul, went to Rome, and joined (c. 283) the army of the emperor Carinus. Later becoming a captain under Diocletian. When it discovered that he Christian who had converted many soldiers. Sebastian ordered to be killed by arrows. The archers left him for dead, but a Christian widow nursed him back to health. He then presented himself before Diocletian, who condemned him to death by beating. His body, thrown into a sewer, found by another pious woman. Who dreamed that Sebastian told her to bury his remains near the catacombs. His relics believed to be in the Basilica of San Sebastiano on the Appian Way. To which many pilgrims were attracted in the Middle Ages.
Sebastian’s martyrdom a favourite subject of Renaissance artists. It was depicted by, among others, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Sandro Botticelli, Andrea Mantegna, Perugino, and El Greco. Usually shown as a handsome youth pierced by arrows.