St. Sebastian Encourages Mark and Marcellian

14th century
Manuscript illustration
Bibliotheque Nationale de France

This image closely follows the story in the Golden Legend. The man in the center is St. Sebastian. On the right are the twin brothers Mark and Marcellian, who are about to be beheaded for their faith. On the left are family members urging them to save themselves. As the Legend puts it, "their mother came first, her hair disheveled, garments torn, and breasts bare." She speaks, then the father, then the wives "setting their children in front of them" and crying, "who will guide the lives of these infants?"

Sebastian replies with a lengthy exhortation, and the two brothers gladly embrace martyrdom.

More of St. Sebastian

Source: Wikimedia Commons