Saint Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro
Says the legend, that during the battle between France and Portugal in Rio de Janeiro, Saint Sebastian was seen fighting alongside the Portuguese and not a single arrow hit him. From that moment on, Saint Sebastian became the patron saint of our well-known, Marvelous City.
The History of Saint Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro
When the Portuguese explorers landed at Guanabara Bay, they thought they had reached the gorge of a gigantic river, “RIO” in Portuguese ! Portuguese explorers arrived at Guanabara Bay on January 1502, and named the new city Rio de Janeiro (River of January).
In 1555 Nicolas Durand de Villegagnon led the French troops to conquer the city, managing to turn it into a colony and renaming it “Henriville”, in honor of its king Henrique II.
Under the command of Estacio de Sa, the Portuguese fought for a decade to recover the territory; on March 1st 1965 they found a city that we now know as Rio de Janeiro, at which time known as “São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro”.
It was thus that, every January 20, a procession of the figure of the saint takes place from the Church of the Capuchins in the Tijuca neighborhood to the Metropolitan Cathedral.
What do people do this day?
Saint Sebastian is a Christian saint and also considered the patron saint of the city of Rio de Janeiro and that is why, on January 20, the Cariocas celebrate his day.
The historical account, Saint Sebastian was a soldier who enlisted in the Roman army in the year 283 AD. At the time, Rome kept Christian soldiers as prisoners, and Saint Sebastian often visited them. His quiet demeanor towards Christian prisoners made the Roman emperor judge him a traitor and condemned him to death with arrows in his body.
The Cariocas devote the Day of Saint Sebastian to the procession of Saint Sebastian, that is, a parade in honor of the patron saint of the city, carrying his graceful statue on an altar. People go to the Catholic church where they participate in the Mass in the name of holy Saint Sebastian and then walk towards their final destination, making prayers and asking for protection from him in relation to their lives.
The church in which the graceful statue of Saint Sebastian is located is the Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião no Rio de Janeiro and you can visit it on the January 20th or on another date with us on our Cathedral RioLIVE!
In your city is there a date as important as this?
Tell us in the comments below!