Here is a sampling of my requests/comments to St. Sebastian over the years:
- Please help my every footstep to be a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God. (What a great prayer! If you take about 33,000 footsteps in a marathon -- and according to the first link from my Google search, which is the extent of my research on this question, it is -- then that's 33,000 prayers of praise and thanksgiving to God. Not bad! And in a 50 mile race, almost 66,000 prayers. You get the idea.)
- Please help me offer up any sufferings to God. (And as the ultra-marathon saying goes, If you ever start feeling good during an ultra, don't worry -- you'll get over it. There will be suffering.)
- Please help that poor runner over there -- s/he doesn't look so good!
- Please help me -- I don't look so good!
- Please help me finish strong.
- Please help me not to jostle anyone or be jostled. (If you've ever done organized races with water stops, you'll know what I mean by this.)
- (After a race), Please bless my meeting with my loved ones. (This never fails -- even in races with 30,000 runners, we always find one another and have the perfect timing.)
- Please be my pacer.
- Please be my DJ. (Seriously, he is the best DJ. I use a Shuffle, and I always get the perfect music for the moment. It's like he knows when "I'm Walking on Sunshine" will pick me up or when I need "Edge of Glory" to drive me to the finish line.)
This popular depiction of St. Sebastian shows arrows failing to kill him due to his physical strength and endurance.
If he could survive being shot by arrows, I guess I can survive blisters and an inflamed IT band.
The Venerable Bishop Fulton J. Sheen is another great intercessor for runners, but that's a blog for another day. . . .
For more information on Saint Sebastian, click here.
What are your prayers during a run? Tell me in the Comments section.