Saint Sebastian

Southern Germany, Augsburg, 2nd half of the 17th cent.
Boxwood, H. 28.6 cm
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Peace festival

First celebrated in 1650

Held every year in Augsburg on 8 August

In 1650 the Protestants of Augsburg held the first ‘Augsburger Hohes Friedensfest’ to commemorate 8 August 1629. It was on that date that they had been forbidden from practising their faith, contrary to the terms of the treaty made in 1555 between Ferdinand I and the Imperial Estates at the Imperial Diet in Augsburg. This festival, meanwhile open to all faiths, is still held every year on that date – and is a public holiday exclusively in the municipal area of Augsburg.

August Sturm

A Catholic newspaper

in Protestant Augsburg

In 1686 the book printer August Sturm from Nördlingen launched a Catholic-orientated weekly newspaper in predominantly Protestant Augsburg. The ‘Augspurgische Ordinari-Post-Zeitung’ was the counterpart to a Protestant weekly of almost identical name, the ‘Wochentlich-Ordinari-Post-Zeitung’, published by Jakob Koppmayer. After being taken over by Joseph Anton Moy in 1766, it evolved into the leading newspaper in southern Germany and Austria, having a circulation of 12,000 copies in the early 19th century.

Devotional objects

Pictures of saints

Prayer aids

Figures such as our Saint Sebastian served to heighten religious veneration and are commonly known as devotional objects. This term has its roots in the Latin word devotio, meaning ‘reverence’ or ‘surrender’. Devotional objects include all those items used in private prayer such as crucifixes and rosaries. Sebastain, the protector of Plague victims and epidemics, was always one of the most popular saints.