August 4th, 2011

stabat mater dolorosa

St. Sebastian from an Anglo Saxon Martryology

Jan. 20, St Sebastian

On þone twentigðan dæg þæs monðes bið sancte Sebastianes tid þæs æðelan martyres, þone Dioclitianus se casere--he wæs hæðen-- het hine mid strælum ofscotian, þæt he wæs þara swa full swa igl þæt deor bið byrsta, ond mid þy he hine ne mihte swa acwellan.  þa het he hine mid stengum þyrscan oð þæt he his gast onsende; ond his lichoma wæs gebyrged æt Rome on þære stowe Catacumbe.

On the twentieth day of the month is the feast of the noble martyr St Sebastian, whom the emperor Diocletian (he was a heathen) ordered shot with arrows, so that he was as full of them as the wild animal, the hedgehog, is of bristles, and (yet) he might not kill him in that manner.  Then he ordered that he be beaten with cudgels until he gave up his spirit; and his body was buried at Rome in the place called the catacombs.

-- from British Library manuscript Cotton Julius A x,. typeset in Herzefeld, ed., An Old English Martyrology, EETS o.s. 116 (1900).







Il Sodoma's St Sebastian, c. 1525 (in public domain).