St. Sebastian was a favorite of Emperor Diocletian, and served as a
captain of the infamous Praetorian Guard. He had secretly been bringing
supplies to persecuted Christians, and his missionary efforts were know
in shady underground circles. St . Sebastian was a man of great faith
when such faith had to be hidden, and he was even known to have brought
Christianity to fellow members of the Roman armed services.
Diocletian had St. Sebastian tied to a tree, but the arrows that pierced
his strong body failed to kill him. These arrows are still an important
symbol of his sainthood. He later died as a result of blunt trauma.
Since he was able to endure such incredible punishment, he is often
invoked as the patron of athletes. Archers are also known to pray for
him in times of need.