"May athletes be always as strong in their faith as their patron saint so clearly has been."
While St. Sebastian never participated in sports or any athletic competition, his physical stamina has become legendary.
It is said that the Roman authorities tired to kill Sebastian through a massive volley of arrows. When they were finished with him, he looked more like a hedgehog than a man.
However, he returned later to taunt the Emperor and was then beaten to death and thrown into the sewer. This miraculous ability to suffer such great suffering eventually earned him an association with sports and he became the patron saint of athletes.
Below is a short prayer to St. Sebastian, asking him to intercede for athletes, especially that they remain steadfast in the practice of their faith.
Dear Commander at the Roman Emperor’s court, you chose to be also a soldier of Christ and dared to spread faith in the King of Kings, for which you were condemned to die. Your body, however, proved athletically strong and the executing arrows extremely weak. So another means to kill you was chosen and you gave your life to the Lord. May athletes be always as strong in their faith as their patron saint so clearly has been. Amen.