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Saint Fabianus (15th century glass painting, Evangelical City Church of Ravensburg )

Saint Fabian or Fabianus , according to a source Flavius (* before 200 in Rome ; † January 20, 250 there ), bishop and martyr , was elected bishop of Rome in January 236 and on January 10, 236, after seven days of vacancy, as his successor enthroned by Anterus . His name means: "of the family of the Fabians " ( Latin ).


Eusebius of Caesarea reports how the Christians who had gathered in Rome to elect a new bishop saw a dove perch on Fabian's head . Fabian, a layman and a stranger in the city, was thus considered chosen for this dignity and was appointed bishop, although there were numerous other strong candidates for the vacant chair. He held the position as Bishop of Rome until his death. Fabian died a martyr during the persecution by Emperor Decius on January 20, 250. He was buried in the Catacomb of Calixtus in Rome. His sarcophagus was discovered in 1915.

Even if there are few confirmed sources from that period, there is enough evidence to suggest that Fabianus' episcopate was of great importance for the history of the early Church. He is said to have reorganized the church and founded numerous congregations in what is now France .

In matters of faith he was in contact with Origen , the great Doctor of the Church in the East. According to tradition, he divided Rome into seven diaconal districts with 7  deacons and 46 presbyters : It is the earliest basis of the later cardinal title churches as they exist today.

Patron saint

Saint Fabian is together with Saint Sebastian the patron saint of the city of Selm in Westphalia . He is also considered the patron saint of potters and pewter foundries ( craftsmen ).

His attributes are the Pope's cross , the sword and a dove .

In his hometown of Rome, St. Fabian is the patron saint and patron saint of the titular church Santi Fabiano e Venanzio . He is also the patron of numerous churches.

Some of the relics , including the head of St. Fabian, are on the main altar in Fulda Cathedral . The bones of the saint probably came to Fulda with Rabanus Maurus . His main grave with most of the bones is in the Roman church of Santa Prassede . This is where they were transferred from the Callistus Catacomb .

Remembrance day

Farmer rules

Numerous peasant rules refer to the feast day of the saint :

  • The real winter begins for Fabian and Sebastian.
  • About Fabian and Sebastian, the tree begins to sap.
  • Storm and frost to Fabian, is good for all crops.
  • Fabian in the fog hat is not doing the trees any good.
  • If the mosquitoes are dancing around Fabian, you have to pinch the cows' feed later.
  • Sunshine around Fabian and Sebastian, he lets the animals run out of food.
  • About Fabian and Sebastian, the deaf also accepts the dove.


See also

Web links

Commons : Fabianus  - collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
Anterus Bishop of Rome
(the term Pope was first used after 384)
Cornelius (Bishop of Rome)