Talk:Saint Sebastian

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Roots for the name[edit]

I was reading "In Xanadu" by William Dalrymple and I found this:

According to Yule almost nothing is known about the historical St Blaise, except that he was the bishop of Sebaste (Roman Sivas) and that he was martyred during the persecutions of Diocletian.

In this section Dalrymple is describing some the history of Sivas - a town in Turkey about 250 kilometers west of the Euphrates.

Maybe St Bliase was St Sebastian, but that's another story. Would it be worth speculating that someone from Sebaste is a Sebastian? Sebaste was a roman town, Sebastian was a roman saint - is it worth putting 2 and 2 together?

  • I'm not sure it is. I'll admit that it sounds intriguing, but at this point, unless you can produce some published sources that show that this theory holds some currency, it's just speculation. It'd make a great topic of conversation over beer and a bag of crisps, but I'm not sure it should go into an encyclopedia. One rule that forbids this sort of thing, I think, is Wikipedia's prohibition against original research. While I don't think you're saying that this is research, my understanding is that this is something you yourself have noticed rather than something you read in a published work. Am I right about this, or have I misunderstood you? —CKA3KA (Skazka) 00:24, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • There seems no way to insert into the taxobox that this Saint Sebastian is by Il Sodoma (Pitti Palace). You'd think it was just a wallet-card or something. Sebastianus is not a Roman cognomen: the derivation "from Sebaste" is not "original" at all, it's inescapable. What else might 'Sebastianus", the Greek analogue of "Augusta" in numerous town names, mean? Which Sebaste: now, that would be original research! --Wetman 20:35, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Gay iconism[edit]

This is on the to-do list and has actually been added numerous times (I personally have added it twice), but it never seems to last very long. It seems that some people are so horrified that St. Sebastian is identified with homosexuality that they can't bear the mention of it. Frankly, I don't care if the man was gay or not or whether there is any valid reason for anyone to associate him with homosexual behavior or not. But, in fact, that association has come to be and for the sake of completeness it should be mentioned. Censorship in this sense has no place here-- 09:53, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

  • it doesnt belong without a reference. 18:19, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
I have put it in the "popular culture" section, with a reference. Springnuts 21:01, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

It does not deserve an LGBT banner. I am offended that a Saint deserves such slander! Eedo Bee 12:11, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Slander? That's your POV, and has no place in a Wikipedia article. A source has been provided identifying St. Sebastian as a gay icon. The LGBT banner is there to help identify and improve articles that are interesting to the LGBT wikiproject for several reasons. Just like any other wikiproject banner. What is so offensive about that? Raystorm 13:59, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Documenting the fact that Sebastian is a gay icon has nothing to do with saying that he was gay. The fact is that Sebastian is a gay icon. What I want to know is why? There doesn't seem to be anything in his story to suggest he was gay. Is it more to do with the homoerotic image of a naked man pierced with arrows? For these two reasons alone ie 1) That he is a gay icon and that this is a important cultural phenomemon and 2) Its a mystery as to WHY should justify including a section on this subject. ThePeg 11:57, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

A possible, partial answer from art historian Richard E. Spear's The Divine Guido: Religion, Sex, Money, and Art in the World of Guido Reni, page 60. "Ardent response to the sight of bound Sebastian penetrated by arrows has a long and varied history, if for no other reason than the spectacle of a passive male nude body was relatively uncommon to art...particularly by the measure of the ubiquitous female nude displayed as erotic object." The connection definitely deserves mention, as Sebastian has clearly been linked with homosexuality, regardless of whether the man himself was gay or some people object to this development. The "hijacking" of saints by people outside the Church is not new, see St Expedite, St Joan of Arc, St Arnulf/Arnold, St Barbara (in regard to her connection to Santaria), etc. --Izau 16:43, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Why are we grasping at straws as to why he's a gay icon? Is there literature somewhere that states that it is because the arrows are reminiscent of S&M, or because he's draw as a sexy young man, or (previous) that the piercing arrows are phallic? How about this: stick to facts, or at least proper references. (Note that this is not detracting St. Sebastian as a gay icon; merely the wild guessing as to why.) (talk) 15:01, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

There needs to be more elaboration of how St. Sebastian's life story can be interpreted to make him a gay icon. This is simply asserted in the article, albeit with several examples of others asserting this. However, this is doesn't actually answer the question. As this section of the article reads right now, it's basically, "St. Sebastian is a gay icon. People have decided he's a gay icon. He's been depicted in art as a nude young man." There's a lot of nude young men in classical art, yet the vast majority of them are not automatically gay icons. (talk) 10:01, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

He is a [gay icon]. we don't get to pic what the lgbt population views him as. let's keep wiki NPOV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:16, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

But we need to know why, surely. I cam here looking for info, and found only what i already knew. As a non-catholic, i expect an encylopedia to know more than me about a saint - in this case, why is he a gay icon. The gy icon article just talks about the paintings (again). Is that the only reason? That's pretty shallow!YobMod 13:45, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

His status as a gay icon goes back to at least the 1800s, and very likely prior to that. It's one of those things where you may really only be able to speculate as to the origins. As for the S&M comments, most S&M practitioners are straight -- the idea of it as a "gay thing" is an 80s stereotype. The nudity doesn't make him as such either. For me, I have always thought it had to do with the complete story of his life. He's great as an aspirational figure. He stood up for what he believed in and did not back down in the face of extreme persecution. That has nothing to do with being gay, but it likely serves the basis for his status as a gay icon. (talk) 03:15, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

A line in the current article helps explain: "...the 'heroism born of weakness', which characterizes poise amidst agonizing torment and plain acceptance of one's fate as, beyond mere patience and passivity, a stylized achievement and artistic triumph." This concept may have less resonance today but once would have been readily understood by those who related. Gay icons from before widespread gay lib are more than a little abstruse and hard to scrutinize because they communicated on a level that was invariably unspoken. Usually they came simply from the sense that one was looking at one's own life -- this is the reasoning usually provided for the early and mid 20th century gay iconography of tragic actresses. I can't offer any sources sadly, but I can offer something more than conjecture, in that I have read about the connection before in an academic text. It mentioned the symbolic significance of his body being penetrated by arrows and surviving, before an incredulous world (which kills him anyway). If I come across it again I'll offer it here as a source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:09, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Hello. It is a bit odd how gay icon is mentioned in the other links. It lead me to wonder why and it doesn't mention it in the article anywhere, I had to come to this talk page to find out the answer. Should have a brief description in the article, or, if it is not notable enough, don't have the gay icon link at the bottom. I think it's not notable enough but others may disagree, my main point is as it is it makes the article confusing and wiki articles should not do that. Popish Plot (talk) 16:34, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
Please disregard this^ I missed mention of it in the arts and literature section. Popish Plot (talk) 16:42, 2 December 2015 (UTC)


I don't have time to add it right now, but Sebastiane should probably be mentioned in this aritcle. CaveatLectorTalk 09:32, 24 June 2007 (UTC)


How is the name pronounced?

As it's spelled.


Why does Sebastian direct here, shouldn't it direct to the disambiguation. This might be the most popular of the Sebastian articles but it isn't technically a Sebastian article, people looking in on Sebastian shouldn't have to go through Saint Sebastian, I believe with a certain amount of certainity that most people looking for the Saint specifically will know enough to put Saint in front. People looking for Sebastian should not have to go through Christian mythology. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:50, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Bugger off, if you want to look for a Sebastian, then type the whole name. Energyfreezer (talk) 16:52, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

There should probably be a disambiguation page for all of the things named after the saint, Saint Sebastian (disambiguation). Such a list will presumably be large. Drutt (talk) 03:57, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Already exists (since 2005). --Dan Harkless (talk) 22:13, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Sebatian Wood Sculpture[edit]

I have a photo of a wood sculpture of St. Sebatian by Virgil Cantini, and I am not sure where it could go in this article. Maybe someone else can find a place for it: Image:CantiniStSebastianHillmanLibrary.jpg.--Shizzy9989 (talk) 16:35, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I have added your image to the article, it is not the best job layout-wise but hopefully someone can improve that. Thank you. --ChaChaFut (talk) 03:01, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Does anybody know...[edit]

does anybody know what food they eat at the feast of San Sebastian de Yumbel in Chile? Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:49, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Parking Trivia[edit]

Parking the trivia section here as it has been tagged since December 2007. Please do not move back without citations showing notability of the reference and working it into encyclopedic context. Toddst1 (talk) 11:18, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Saint Sebastian in popular culture

Versions of the iconic image of Sebastian impaled with arrows appear in:

  • Claude Debussy wrote the incidental music for Gabriele d'Annunzio's mystery play Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien, inspired by the story of the saint
  • Saint Sebastian is considered the unofficial Patron Saint of LGBT people.
  • Philip Glass includes a short musical piece titled "Saint Sebastian" in his score for the film Mishima.
  • In the film Blown Away, the statue of St Sebastian symbolically appears throughout the film.
  • In the Canadian film Lilies, a rehearsal for a church's re-enactment of the scene plays a prominent role in the storyline and iconography.
  • Followers of Saint Sebastian figure prominently in Loren D. Estleman's "Amos Walker" novel, "Nicotine Kiss". In the private eye novel, they meet at "The Church of the Freshwater Sea".
  • The novel "Hotel Transylvania", by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, features a villain named Saint Sebastien.
  • The rock band Instar wrote a song titled "Saint Sebastian" describing a child's reaction to a painting of the saint.
  • In the Val Lewton RKO film I Walked with a Zombie a figurehead of St. Sebastian is featured in the garden of the Hollands' residence, and is the name of the fictional island that the movie takes place on. The same island also features in Lewton's The Ghost Ship, and the RKO Carney and Brown film Zombies on Broadway
  • Several films have been made about the life of Sebastian, mostly focusing on his iconic execution. See Bavo Defurne's 1996 short film, Saint
  • The television show Millennium has an episode entitled "The Hand of St. Sebastian" (2nd season).
  • St. Sebastian's way of death was also used in La Mujer de Judas as the killer kills Ernesto the same way.
  • Saint Sebastian is mentioned in the poem The Hat Lady by Linda Pastan.
  • In the 1976 film Carrie, the title character has a statue of Saint Sebastian in her cupboard as she prays, not a statue of Jesus as commonly assumed. Carrie's mother dies in a way that is similar in look to the statue.
  • In 1984 by George Orwell, Winston Smith imagines killing the dark-haired woman during the Two Minutes Hate "like Saint Sebastian".
  • St. Sebastian church is the church in Godfather 3
  • In the 16th Season of The Simpsons, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star, Bart Simpson is sent to a Catholic boarding school where a priest gives him a comic book depicting the life of Saint Sebastian.
  • St. Sebastian appears in several shots in R.E.M.'s music video "Losing my Religion."
  • In the HBO production of Wit (film) a painting of Saint Sebastien's execution is used in two settings.

Notability is not a criterion for content. It refers to the inclusion or exclusion of an article because of lack of significant independent coverage of the topic in reliable sources. patsw (talk) 23:56, 1 November 2009 (UTC)