Saint Stephen the Martyr
AKA: Stephen the Deacon
Born: no recorded date
Died: A.D. 33 in Jerusalem, Judea, Roman Empire by being stoned to death
Venerated: Roman Catholic Church; Eastern Catholic Church; Eastern Orthodox Church; Oriental Orthodox Church; Assyrian Church of the East; Armenian Apostolic Church; Eastern Catholic Churches; Lutheran Church; Anglican Communion
Feast Day: December 26 (Western); December 27 (Eastern); January 9 (Eastern Orthodox Churches); December 26/January 7 (Armenian Apostolic and Armenian Catholic Churches)
Patronages: Against Headaches; Brick Layers; Casket Makers; Deacons; Horses; Masons; Guild of Saint Stephen
Places: Acoma, New Mexico; Cetona, Italy; Kessel, Belgium; Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky; Passau, German; Serbia; Republic of Srpska, Prato, Italy; Diocese of Cahors, France; Diocese of Toulouse, France
Representation: Deacon carrying a pile of Rocks; Deacon with rocks gathered in his Vestments; Deacon with Rocks on his head; Deacon with rocks or a book at hand; Palm of Martyrdom; Stones; Man holding a green palm and a golden book, presumably a Bible
Saint Stephen, a disciple of Christ, chosen after the Ascension as one of the seven deacons, and "full of grace and fortitude, was working great wonders and signs among the people." Many rose up against him, but they were not able to withstand the wisdom that spoke.
Accused of blasphemy against Moses and against God, he was brought before the Sanhedrin and condemned to be cast out of the city and stoned to death. Kneeling down before his murderers he cried out with a loud voice saying, "Lord, do not lay this sin against them." And when he had said this he fell asleep in the Lord, 35 A.D.
For Further Information About Saint Stephen, See CatholicSaints.Info Website
Prayer: God, grant that we may imitate the Saint we honor and learn to love our enemies. For today we celebrate the feast of Saint Stephen who knew how to pray even for his persecutors. Amen.