In 236, St. Fabian was the first layman ever elected to the papacy. He promoted the consolidation and development of the Church. He divided Rome into seven diaconates for the purpose of extending aid to the poor. The papacy acquired such prestige during this time that he incurred the ire of Emperor Decius. Martyred in 250, St. Fabian was one of the first victims of persecution under Emperor Decius.

* Celebrated alongside St. Fabian is the Roman martyr, St. Sebastian. Although these two feasts are liturgically separate, they are venerated on the same day and also named together in the Litany of Saints.

~ St. Sebastian, a native of Milan, was an officer in Diocletian’s imperial guard. He converted to Christianity, whereupon he was martyred by order of the emperor in 288. (from the Proper of Saints, Daily Roman Missal)