By Bianca Marie France E. Viadan
Saint Sebastian is the Patron Saint of San Sebastian Cathedral, also referred to as the Tarlac Cathedral. He is considered a symbol of virtues, known as the patron saint of athletes, archers, soldiers, and victims of the plague.
When Patron St. Sebastian converted to Catholicism, he went to Rome, and became a soldier of the Roman Army. During that time, spreading the word of Christ was seen as a betrayal by his fellow soldiers, and he was soon assassinated by being shot with arrows. He miraculously survived and was nursed back to health. Despite the first attempt on his life, he was unrelenting in showing his love for Christ; he denounced the emperor’s hate and cruelty to Christians and sentenced and beaten to death. It is due to this two attempts on his life that he is often referred to as the saint that was martyred twice. His heroic death became a symbol of a world that was about to change.
Tarlac Cathedral is a beautiful post-war Neo-Gothic church which was dedicated to the courageous saint in 1886. Located in Brgy. Mabini, Tarlac, it was once destroyed and tested by war, but was again rebuilt. It has been a refuge to those who seek peace, strength, and forgiveness.
Just like Saint Sebastian’s faith, courage, belief, and love towards God, the cathedral offers an equally beautiful and grand interior. Its exterior shows the statue of the saint, serving as a reminder that believers must hold on to our faith despite trials.
May we always remember that life will not always offer you goodness or happiness. There will be moments that it will break and tear you down, but it does not mean that it is not worth living anymore . We just need to keep that faith and fire burning inside our hearts and become the warrior that God wants us to be because at the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many recognitions, wealth, properties, and high-paying jobs we have, but by how many people we have served while serving God.
Sources: Sacred Scriptures, San Sebastian Parish Youth Ministry Facebook Page, San Sebastian Cathedral Parish of Tarlac – Official Facebook Page, My Catholic Life, Britannica, Wikipedia, Associated and Catholic Colleges of Western Australia)
Tarlac Cathedral Interior from A Pilgrimage to Tarlac : San Sebastian Cathedral / Tarlac Cathedral
Bianca Marie France E. Viadan , Operations Management. Born on the 2nd day of October year 1990, eldest daughter of 2 and currently residing at Tarlac City. Graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology. A Philippine ARMY reservist graduated in Advance ROTC. Traffic Control Room Specialist at SCTEX base. Fond of writing poems, short stories, reading, photography, singing, and playing the guitar. Ambivert loves to travel and discover nature. Forgiving and friendly in nature.