Feast of Saint Sebastian
A possible early gay icon was Saint Sebastian, a Christian saint and martyr, whose strong, beauty and shirtless physique, symbolic arrow-pierced flesh, and rapturous look of pain combined have intrigued artists, both gay and straight, for centuries and began the first explicitly gay cult in the nineteenth century.
Saint Sebastian (died c. 288) was a Christian saint and martyr, who is said to have been killed during the Roman emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians. He is commonly depicted in art and literature tied to a post and shot with arrows. This is the most common artistic depiction of Sebastian; however, he was rescued and healed by Saint Irene of Rome before criticizing the emperor and being clubbed to death. He is venerated in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
He is patron saint of athletes because of his physical endurance and his energetic way of spreading and defending the Faith. Sebastian is also patron to all soldiers. He was declared patron of plague sufferers of his reported cures of those afflicted with many diseases. You could say he is the Christian version of Great God Apollo.
According to Sebastian's 5th-century Acta Sanctorum, still attributed to Ambrose by the 17th-century hagiographer Jean Bolland, and the briefer account in Legenda Aurea, Sebastian was born at Narbonne, Gaul. He became a soldier in the Roman army at Rome in about 283, and encouraged Marcellian and Marcus, under sentence of death, to remain firm in their faith. Sebastian made numerous converts: among them were the master of the rolls, Nicostratus, who was in charge of prisoners and his wife, Zoe, a deaf mute whom he cured; the jailer Claudius; Chromatius, Prefect of Rome, whom he cured of gout; and Chromatius' son, Tiburtius. Chromatius set the prisoners free, freed his slaves, and resigned as prefect.
Sebastian was named captain in the praetorian guards by Emperor Diocletian, as did Emperor Maximian when Diocletian went to the East. Neither knew that Sebastian was a Christian. When it was discovered during Maximian's persecution of the Christians that Sebastian was indeed a Christian, he was ordered executed. He was shot with arrows and left for dead, but when the widow of St. Castulus went to recover his body, she found he was still alive and nursed him back to health. Soon after, Sebastian intercepted the Emperor, denounced him for his cruelty to Christians (he had some balls). But unfortunately he was beaten to death on the Emperor's orders.
Saint Sebastian was venerated at Milan as early as the time of St. Ambrose and was buried on the Appian Way. The details of Saint Sebastian's martyrdom were first spoken of by 4th century bishop, Ambrose of Milan, in his sermon (number 22) on Psalm 118. Ambrose stated that Sebastian came from Milan and that he was already venerated there in the 4th century
He is patron of archers, athletes, and soldiers, and is appealed to for protection against plagues including HIV/AIDS similar to the Great God Apollo.
Saint Sebastian protect us from the deadly diseases especially HIV/AIDS