Born: no recorded date
Died: A.D. 34 in Jerusalem, Judea, Roman Empire
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: Altar Servers; Indian Pueblo; Casket Makers; Deacons; Headaches; Horses; Masons
PLACES: Acoma, New Mexico; Cetona, Italy; Kessel, Belgium; Owensboro, Kentucky; Passau, German; Serbia; Republic of Srpska, Prato, Italy
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.
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.