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Mass kicks off festivities for Saint Sebastian Day, patron saint of Rio

The celebrations for the Day of São Sebastião, patron saint of the city and of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, began today (20th), at 10 am, with a solemn mass at the Basilica Sanctuary of São Sebastião, located in Tijuca, in the northern part of the capital of Rio de Janeiro. Soon, at 4 pm, the Archdiocesan Procession will leave the Basilica Sanctuary, which will continue to the Metropolitan Cathedral, on Avenida Chile, central region of the municipality, where Cardinal Dom Orani João Tempesta, Archbishop of Rio, will say a solemn mass.Mass kicks off festivities for Saint Sebastian Day, patron saint of Rio


Traditionally, the Archbishop of Rio performs, in the Archdiocese, the Trezena de São Sebastião, involving 13 days of preparations and prayers. The three-day event began on January 7th, with the theme “São Sebastião: vocation to the mission”, inspired by the celebration of the Missionary Vocational Year.

The feast of São Sebastião goes beyond the celebrations of the 20th of January. The replica of the image of the saint brought by Estácio de Sá travels throughout the city and, for 13 days, is taken to parishes, chapels, oratories, hospitals, armed and auxiliary forces, buildings of government agencies, radio and television stations, among others. institutions. The goal is to bring the blessing of the patron saint to all people, asking for the new year that begins. The Trecena of São Sebastião ends the day before the feast of the patron saint.

Yesterday (19), at 6 am, the image of São Sebastião was taken to the Sanctuary of Christ the Redeemer. The morning began with the Walk of São Sebastião, which left the Paineiras Visitors Center and arrived at the Sanctuary around 7:30 am, when the celebration began, presided over by the Archbishop of Rio, Cardinal Orani João Tempesta. The pilgrimage continued by visiting the Casa de Betânia (Our Lady of Divine Providence Parish) and the Obra Social O Sol, in the Botanical Garden, ending the day with a mass at the Nossa Senhora Aparecida Chapel, at Central do Brasil, in the city center.


In an interview with Brazil Agency, Dom Orani Tempesta recalled that when Estácio de Sá brought the image of São Sebastião to Rio, giving his name to the city, “he brought a fine example of a great man who lived in difficult times and was persevering. He lived at the end of the third century to the fourth century and was a Christian in the midst of Christian persecution, which shows us the firmness, the courage of not going back on his conviction to live doing good, even when everything around him did the right. contrary”.

The Archbishop of Rio added that “this, for us, is a sign of hope and confidence, (sign) of the tenacity of São Sebastião, who forms the soul of the Carioca, who has this tenacity, this courage, this courage not to be discouraged by the problems, but seek to find solutions and continue to carry out its mission. Cariocas inherited a lot of this courage, this tenacity, from São Sebastião who, even after the arrows were shot, continued to act and act”. For this reason, Dom Orani Tempesta said that, at this time when we are all resuming face-to-face work after the pandemic is under control, “we are called to rise as Saint Sebastian rose, and to continue our mission with renewed courage. Cariocas and those who live here in Rio de Janeiro, when looking at São Sebastião, must look to have hope and confidence that are reborn when we see his life and his example ”, concluded the Archbishop of Rio.

San Sebastian

Saint Sebastian was born in the French city of Narbonne, in the third century. His parents were from Milan, Italy. His name derives from the Greek Sebastós, which means divine. Sebastian was a soldier who would have enlisted in the Roman army around 283. A Christian, he wanted to help other Christians condemned by the Roman Empire. He was persecuted and captured, refused to renounce his faith and ended up martyred by order of Emperor Diocletian.

São Sebastião is the patron saint of the city of Rio de Janeiro, giving its name to the city since its founding by Estácio de Sá. It is said that in the final battle that expelled the French from Rio, São Sebastião was seen with a sword in his hand, among the Portuguese, Mamelukes and Indians, fighting against the French Calvinists. It was the 20th of January. The saint began to be celebrated on that date.

*Collaborated by Francisco Eduardo Ferreira, intern at Agência Brasil.

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