There is an amazing statue of St. Sebastian in the courtyard of the parish named for him in Akron; we drive by it every time we go to visit. The statue shows him in great agony, with many arrows piercing his flesh (the icon here is a much
more peaceful representation of the saint). But all those arrows didn't kill him, because of his strong athletic body -- he was found, still tied to a pillar and still alive. Upon his recovery, he went to see the Roman Emperor again, but this time was beaten to death . (Reason #27 why I am not qualified for sainthood: try to kill me once, fine, but I wouldn't stick around for seconds.)
So, St. Sebastian is the patron saint of athletes, and who I have been talking to this week in preparation for Will's first high school wrestling meet tomorrow. It will be a long day -- 8 teams and lots of wrestlers. I'm packing Gatorade, beef jerky and ice packs for Will; some knitting, coffee and a rosary for me. And Advil for both of us.
(You know how I love these saintly connections: who wrote the history of St. Sebastian? St. Ambrose. Somehow, that makes me feel better.)