la promenade el Concha, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain (RLH 4-19-07)
Song for Saint Sebastian
One song rises above plebian repetitions of a choir in a freshly greened copse outside my hostel window. With sharpness of arrows piercing San Sebastian, yet sonorous as his plea, this voice knows beauty in worldly sound, in its surround. A poet of dawn with sermon rising above traffic’s passing, one song above all others announces each day with its power to persuade, to proclaim.
Donostia-San Sebastian, Sp
Note: According to tradition, Sebastian was a captain in the Praetorian Guards in the third century. In about 288 CE, he was discovered to be a Christian and sentenced by the newly enthroned anti-Christian Diocletian to be bound to a stake and shot at with arrows. [St.] Irene found him alive and nursed him to health. When he was caught publicly haranguing the emperor during a parade, he was clubbed to death. He was consecrated in the fourth century after an apparition and several miracles were attributed to him. Venerated by both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, he is patron saint of archers. Saint Sebastian Feast Days are January 20 and December 18, respectively.