This enraged some of the members of the local synagogues. Major Characters . A 20th-century French Catholic church, Saint-Étienne, was built in its place, while another, the Greek Orthodox Church of St Stephen, was built outside the eastern gate of the city,[17] which a second tradition holds to be the site of his martyrdom, rather than the northern location outside Damascus Gate (for the two traditions see here). [Acts 6:9] Members of these synagogues had challenged Stephen's teachings, but Stephen had bested them in debate. and his career is documented in the biblical book of The Acts of the Apostles, chapters 6-8. It was only played when "Saint Stephen" segued into The Eleven. "[Acts 7:51–53], Thus castigated, the account is that the crowd could contain their anger no longer. [Acts 6:9–14] Stephen is said to have been unperturbed, his face looking like "that of an angel". With his profound teachings, Stephen successfully managed to convert many of them into followers of Christ by engaging them in religious discussions. But Robert Hunter includes these words under "Saint Stephen" in the lyrics in his book "Box Of Rain". Saint Died c. ad 36. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. "Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? He urged Catholics to be "in communion with them, and to ask them for the grace to live and die with the name of Jesus in their heart and on their lips. [Acts 8:1][6] Some theologians argue that these may not be discrepancies, but rather a condensing of historical events for people who were already familiar with them. [2] Stephen is mentioned in Acts 6 as one of the Greek-speaking Hellenistic Jews selected to participate in a fairer distribution of welfare to the Greek-speaking widows.[3]. The reliquary is likely a 9th-century creation. ", However, in the perspective of faith, he explained, the celebration is "in harmony with the true meaning of Christmas," because in St. Stephen's martyrdom, "violence is defeated by love, death by life.". Saint of the Day for Thursday, Dec 17th, 2020. [6] Stephen faced two accusations: that he had declared that Jesus would destroy the Temple in Jerusalem and that he had changed the customs of Moses. Vatican City, Dec 26, 2019 / 05:02 am ().-The death of St. Stephen, the Church’s first martyr, teaches Catholics to renew their commitment to charity and self-gift, part of the meaning of Christmas, Pope Francis said Thursday.. Accused of blasphemy at his trial, he made a speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him and was then stoned to death. St. Stephen's Day St. Stephen lived during the time of the Apostles and the founding of the Christian Church. They dragged him to appear before the Sanhedrin, the supreme legal court of Jewish elders, accusing him of preaching against the Temple and the Mosaic Law. Important churches and sites dedicated to Saint Stephen are: This article is about Deacon Stephen, a martyred saint. The Book of Acts (chapters 6 and 7) describes Stephen as a man "full of grace and power," as well as a skilled speaker. He said that the recently executed Jesus was standing by the side of God. Throughout the 21st century, 27 December Julian will continue to fall on 9 January in the Gregorian calendar, and that is the date on which they observe the feast. Here is Saint Stephen, depicted by Carlo Crivelli in 1476 with three stones and the martyrs’ palm. [19], The relics of the protomartyr were later translated to Rome by Pope Pelagius II during the construction of the basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura. In the current norms for the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, the feast is celebrated at the Eucharist, but, for the Liturgy of the Hours, is restricted to the Hours during the day, with Evening Prayer being reserved to the celebration of the Octave of Christmas. And now you have betrayed and murdered him. Login . In those churches, then, the date the feast is observed is generally known as 27 December. To all our readers, Please don't scroll past this. ", "May Mary, Mother of the Redeemer," he prayed, "help us to live this Christmas time by fixing our gaze on Jesus, to become more like him every day.". In the Armenian Apostolic and Armenian Catholic Churches, Saint Stephen's Day falls on 25 December – the day on which the feast of the Nativity of Jesus (Christmas) falls in all other churches. Irish soldiers were approaching a Viking camp to drive out the intruders. He preached the teachings of Christ to the Greek-speaking Jews. One, claimed by noted French archaeologists Louis-Hugues Vincent (1872–1960) and Félix-Marie Abel (1878–1953) to be ancient, places the event at Jerusalem's northern gate, while another one, dated by Vincent and Abel to the Middle Ages and no earlier than the 12th century, locates it at the eastern gate. [5] As another deacon, Nicholas of Antioch, is specifically stated to have been a convert to Judaism, it may be assumed that Stephen was born Jewish, but nothing more is known about his previous life. It is a public holiday in many nations that were historically Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran: Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Poland, Republika Srpska, United Kingdom (where it is also called "Boxing Day"), Ireland, Italy, Germany, Finland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Stephen is stated to have been full of faith and the Holy Spirit and to have performed miracles among the people. The edifying story of St. Stephen the Protomartyr is told in Chapters Six and Seven of the Acts of the Apostles. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite, and in Oriental Orthodox Churches (e.g., Coptic, Syrian, Malankara) Saint Stephen's feast day is celebrated on 27 December. Stephen is first mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as one of seven deacons appointed by the Apostles to distribute food and charitable aid to poorer members of the community in the early church. "For us Christians, heaven is no longer distant, separated from the earth: in Jesus, Heaven descended to earth," he said, adding that for this reason everything human can be seen in the light of Heaven. Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers. [14] That Jacob’s body was carried to a final resting place in Shechem is not recorded in Genesis, though it does not exclude the possibility that his bones were transferred to Shechem for a final burial place, as was done with the bones of Jacob’s son Joseph, as described in Joshua 24:32 Other scholars consider them as errors. The vast majority of listeners over the years believe "St. Stephen" to be about the first martyr of Christianity, a 1st century deacon who preached a version of Christ's teachings that angered many other religious leaders of his time ("wherever he goes the people all complain"). Historically, the "Invention of the Relics of Saint Stephen" (i.e., their reputed discovery) was commemorated on 3 August. Facts & Figures I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God!" His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, also known as Paul, a Pharisee and Roman citizen who would later become a Christian apostle. Most people donate because Catholic Online is useful. [1] [2] [3] The same year, a live version of the song was released on Live/Dead , their first concert album. Francis explained that St. Stephen's testimony shows Catholics how to live in accord with Jesus: "mild and courageous, humble and noble, non-violent.". He was stoned to death around 35 gious beliefs, becoming the first Christian martyr. Eastern Christian iconography shows him as a young, beardless man with a tonsure, wearing a deacon's vestments, and often holding a miniature church building or a censer. In the eucharistic celebration on this feast day, it is traditional for all deacons serving at the altar to wear a liturgical crown (Armenian: խոյր khooyr), which is one of the vestments worn only by priests on all other days of the year, the crown being in this instance a symbol of martyrdom. (“And Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people.”) Since the name "Stephanos" is Greek, it has been assumed that he was one of these Hellenistic Jews. [13] Another possibility is that the discrepancies come from an ancient Jewish tradition which was not included in the scriptures or may have been popular among people of Jerusalem who were not scribes. St Stephen was the first Christian martyr, his stoning is depicted in the New Testament book of Acts. 98% of our readers don't give; they simply look the other way. Stephens are the kind of people who could come into your life in two seconds and leave a mark. For the first king of Hungary, see, 1st-century early Christian martyr and saint, Marian Wolniewicz as the translator of the Book of Acts from: The Millennium Holy Bible; Warsaw, 1980, numerous other places named Saint Étienne, St. Stephen's Orthodox Cathedral, Kudassanad, Pandalam, Kerala, "Article XXI (IX) Of the Invocation of the Saints", "St. Stephen's death shows importance of Scripture, Pope says". Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited. [22][dubious – discuss]. This church was destroyed in the 12th century. In dioceses of the Armenian Church which use the Julian Calendar, Saint Stephen's Day falls on 7 January and Nativity/Theophany on 19 January (for the remainder of the 21st century Julian). If you are one of our rare donors, you have our gratitude and we warmly thank you. After that, the relics of the protomartyr were taken in procession to the Church of Hagia Sion on 26 December 415, making it the date for the feast of Saint Stephen. It is 216 years old and the patron of this parish is St. Stephen, the first Martyr of the Church and it is situated beside Kollam Beach. History of St. Stephen's Day. [8] However, Stephen looked up and cried, "Look! Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. St. Stephen's Day may be called "the day of the new bread" as it is a tradition to cut bread on this day to celebrate the arrival of the harvest. The saint, dressed in a deacon's robe, is holding a book, upon which sits a jagged stone, as a symbol of his martyrdom, while blood drips from his death wound on the top of his head. Saint Stephen is one of the sculptures on the side of the, This page was last edited on 9 December 2020, at 07:53. [21], Part of the right arm of Saint Stephen is enshrined at Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius in Russia. "In and out of the repertoire it goes...St. Stephen was around for a long time, but not always around. St. Stephen was the first ordained by the apostles as one of the seven deacons. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic information that their work matters. A letter from our President, Dr. Margaret Anne Smith. The death of St. Stephen, the Church's first martyr, teaches Catholics to renew their commitment to charity and self-gift, part of the meaning of Christmas, Pope Francis said Thursday. St. Stephen of Hungary (Szent István király) was the first king of Hungary and he laid the foundation of the state by converting the Magyar people to Christianity. St Stephens Name Meaning Historically, surnames evolved as a way to sort people into groups - by occupation, place of origin, clan affiliation, patronage, parentage, adoption, and even physical characteristics (like red hair). Due to him, the name became common in the Christian world. Etienne Chevalier with St Stephen. In his book The City of God, Augustine of Hippo describes the many miracles that occurred when part of the relics of Saint Stephen were brought to Africa. "AOXOMOXOA's most famous song, perhaps because it translated so beautifully to the group's live repertoire, is `St. Stephen,' a cryptic rocker (again with an unusual, irregular cadence, almost a combination of waltz and march rhythms in a rock motif) about a … They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. He is first mentioned in Acts 6:5, when the apostles appoint seven deacons in order to minister to the physical needs of the faithful.Because Stephen is a Greek name (Stephanos), and because the appointment of the deacons occurred in response to complaints by Greek-speaking Jewish Christians, it is generally … Phil gets a new bass in 83 and is desperate to try it out on St Stephen, I am guessing much like the lone Darkstar that year ( first since 12.31.78 ) Brent really wants a ride on the old horse. This oil painting depicts the donor kneeling alongside his patron saint, Stephen. Some Orthodox churches, particularly in the west, follow a modified Julian calendar that places date names identically with the standard Gregorian calendar of widespread civil usage. Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Join with us in offering this prayer, written by Deacon Keith Fournier, seeking his intercession: He was stoned to death sometime around the year 33 CE. According to an Irish legend, he was betrayed by a wren while hiding from his enemies. The Story of Saint Stephen. As another deacon, Nicholas of Antioch, is specifically stated to have been a convert to Judaism, it may be assumed that Stephen was born Jewish, but nothing more is known about his previous life. The Bible says he was filled with the Holy Spirit, who gave him wisdom and courage to preach despite fierce opposition. St. Stephen, (died 36 ce, Jerusalem; feast day December 26), Christian deacon in Jerusalem and the first Christian martyr, whose apology before the Sanhedrin (Acts of the Apostles 7) points to a distinct strand of belief in early Christianity. [2], In a long speech to the Sanhedrin comprising almost the whole of Acts chapter 7, Stephen presents his view of the history of Israel. But all their efforts went in vai… They were interred alongside the relics of Saint Lawrence, whose tomb is enshrined within the church. However, other Orthodox churches, including the Oriental Orthodox, continue to use the original Julian calendar. Stephens like to know they are cared for, so make sure you tell them how special they are to you as much as you can. If you donate just $5.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online could keep thriving for years. Clergy members distributed the contents of the boxes to the poor on December 26, which is also the feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr and a figure known for acts of charity. If Catholic Online has given you $5.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Many churches and other places commemorate Stephen. He is regarded as the first Christian martyr. For 40 days, St. Stephen people are invited to pray, reflect on scripture, and hear stories of how this community of faith has been meaningful. The name Stephen is derived from the Greek Stephanos meaning crown. [6] Stephen recounts the stories of the patriarchs in some depth, and goes into even more detail in the case of Moses. Be "communities that do not follow worldly logic, that do not put themselves, their image, at the center," he encouraged, "but only the glory of God and the good of people, especially the little ones and the poor.". St Stephen is believed to be the first Christian martyr. Stephen: This early Christian deacon was a zealous defender of Jesus Christ and The Way, as Christianity was called in its first few years.While his name implies he may have been Greek, Stephen was well-educated in the history of the Jewish people. PubliusNYC on March 28, 2010 Link 2 Replies Log in to reply The Imperial Regalia of the Holy Roman Empire includes a relic known as St. Stephen's Purse which is an elaborate gold and jewel-encrusted box believed to contain soil soaked with the blood of St. Stephen. Vatican City, (CNA) - The death of St. Stephen, the Church's first martyr, teaches Catholics to renew their commitment to charity and self-gift, part of the meaning of Christmas, Pope Francis said Thursday. Stephen was an evangelist. Furious at this humiliation, they suborned false testimony that Stephen had preached blasphemy against Moses and God. According to Orthodox belief, he was the eldest and is therefore called "archdeacon". He is shown with the clerical tonsure, vested in a dalmatic and holding a Gospel Book in his right hand. The testimony and martyrdom of St. Stephen can be a source of inspiration for the renewal of Catholic communities, he continued, urging them to be more missionary and evangelical, reaching even the men and women at the existential and geographical peripheries. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law. The Catholic, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox Churches, and the Church of the East venerate Stephen as a saint. Benedict XVI stated that St. Stephen appealed to the Jewish scriptures to prove how the laws of Moses were not subverted by Jesus but, instead, were being fulfilled. In 439, the relics were translated to a new church north of the Damascus Gate built by the empress Aelia Eudocia in honor of Saint Stephen. Because of this, some have questioned whether it should really be seen as part of "The Eleven" instead of part of "Saint Stephen". Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Another legend tells of Viking raids on Ireland on St Stephen's Day sometime around the year 750 CE. In many countries December 26 commemorates the life of St. Stephen, a Christian deacon in Jerusalem who was known for his service to the poor and his status as the first Christian martyr (he was stoned to death in ad 36). This is because the Armenian churches maintain the decree of Constantine, which stipulated that the Nativity and Theophany of Jesus were to be celebrated on 6 January. Stephen prayed that the Lord would receive his spirit and his killers be forgiven, sank to his knees, and "fell asleep". St. Stephen, "in the hour of the supreme witness, contemplates the open skies and gives the persecutors his forgiveness," he added. Not much is known about Saint Stephen's origin. They could not bear the Gospel of Christ and hence, they repeatedly tried to prove Stephen wrong. He is the patron saint of Altar Servers, bricklayers, casket makers and deacons and his feast day is celebrated on December 26. Saint Stephen is a recognized saint in many Christian theologies, and is considered to be the first Christian martyr. Free PDFs: Hail Mary, Our Father, How to Pray the Rosary & more, 40 Days of Deals - 15% OFF - FREE Shipping $60+, 'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'. Stephen is first mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as one of seven deacons appointed by the Apostles to distribute food and charitable aid to poorer members of the community in the early church. [15] Numerous parallels between the accounts of Stephen in Acts and the Jesus of the Gospels – they both perform miracles, they are both tried by the Sanhedrin, they both pray for forgiveness for their killers, for instance – have led to suspicions that the author of Acts has emphasised – in order to show the recipient that people become holy when they follow the example of Christ – or invented some (or all) of these. ", "Golden Legend – Invention of Saint Stephen, Protomartyr", "Translation of the Relics of Saint Stephen the Protomartyr", "Frequently asked questions: Big Ben and Elizabeth Tower", Benedict XVI, "Reflection on the Life and Death of Saint Stephen", Dechristianization of France during the French Revolution, Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart, Persecutions of the Catholic Church and Pius XII, Pope Pius XII Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Rise of the Evangelical Church in Latin America, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Saint_Stephen&oldid=993192655, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Articles with disputed statements from August 2016, All articles with links needing disambiguation, Articles with links needing disambiguation from April 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2013, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. They play it once more a few weeks later supposedly a request from Keith as a goodbye. Saint Stephen was a deacon who was stoned to death, as told in Acts in the New Testament. According to Orthodox belief, he was the eldest and is therefore called "archdeacon". In Catalonia (though not elsewhere in Spain), it is called … [Acts 11:19–20][11], The exact site of Stephen's stoning is not mentioned in Acts; instead there are two different traditions. Still others interpret them as deliberate choices making theological points. Our hope is that, at the end of this time of prayer and reflection, we’ll all be renewed in our support and excitement for ministry together. [9] The criticism of traditional Jewish belief and practice in Stephen's speech is very strong – when he says God does not live in a dwelling "made by human hands", referring to the Temple, he is using an expression often employed by Biblical texts to describe idols. [12], Of the numerous speeches in Acts of the Apostles, Stephen's speech to the Sanhedrin is the longest. [Acts 7:39–43] This establishes the second main theme of Stephen's speech, Israel's disobedience to God. St. Stephen's Church, Thope, is one of the parishes of the first diocese of India, Kollam. "[Acts 8:1] In the aftermath of Stephen's death, the remaining disciples fled to distant lands, many to Antioch. Advent Reflection - Day 18 - The Third Wednesday of Advent. Nevertheless, the Israelites turned to other gods. [13] To the objection that it seems unlikely that such a long speech could be reproduced in the text of Acts exactly as it was delivered, some Biblical scholars have replied that Stephen's speech shows a distinctive personality behind it. In 415 AD, a priest named Lucian purportedly had a dream that revealed the location of Stephen's remains at Beit Jimal. [23] The feasts of both 26 December and 3 August have been used in dating clauses in historical documents produced in England.[24]. St. Stephen's knanaya Catholic Forane Church, Uzhavoor, kottayam, built 1631. [18] A different tradition is documented from the end of the Crusader period, after the disappearance of the Byzantine church: as Christian pilgrims were prohibited from approaching the militarily exposed northern city wall, the name "Saint Stephen's Gate" was transferred to the still accessible eastern gate, which bears this name until this day. The God of glory, he says, appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia, thus establishing at the beginning of the speech one of its major themes, that God does not dwell only in one particular building (meaning the Temple). [4] Traditionally, Stephen is invested with a crown of martyrdom; artistic representations often depict him with three stones and the martyr's palm frond. The only source for information about Stephen is the New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles. [Acts 7:58–60] Saul "approved of their killing him. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Read Now. [Acts 6:5, 8], It seems to have been among synagogues of Hellenistic Jews that he performed his teachings and "signs and wonders" since it is said that he aroused the opposition of the "Synagogue of the Freedmen", and "of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia". "Lives of Saints", John J. Crawley & Co., Inc. "Stephen's Speech: A Theology of Errors? According to Acts, St. Stephen was a powerful p The song imagines St. Stephen, who is described in Acts as "a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit", as a simple-minded hobo. One of the first seven deacons, St. Stephen is a model of evangelical zeal, who sealed this virtue in his own blood, being stoned to death for Our Lord by a mob of angry Jews. I love him to death. It is a public holiday in many nations that were historically Catholic, Anglican or Lutheran, including Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Poland, Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Catalonia and the Balearic Isles. [6], Some people have laid the charge of anti-Judaism against the speech, for instance the priest and scholar of comparative religion S. G. F. Brandon, who states: "The anti-Jewish polemic of this speech reflects the attitude of the author of Acts."[16]. God appeared to Moses in the burning bush,[Acts 7:30–32] and inspired Moses to lead his people out of Egypt. In Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom, the day is celebrated as "Boxing Day". The Life of Saint Stephen . St. Stephen "teaches us to proclaim Christ through gestures of fraternity and evangelical charity," he argued. Pope Francis said that "at the school of St. Stephen" Catholics learn to fix their eyes on Jesus and to remember that Heaven's glory lasts for eternal life, "and is not made up of wealth and power, but of love and self-giving.". "St. Stephen" is a song by the Grateful Dead, written by Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Robert Hunter and originally released on the 1969 studio album Aoxomoxoa. The Crusaders initially called the main northern gate of Jerusalem "Saint Stephen's Gate" (in Latin, Porta Sancti Stephani), highlighting its proximity to the site of martyrdom of Saint Stephen, marked by the church and monastery built by Empress Eudocia. Stephen will drive you wild, he is the most caring, loving, deep, devoted boyfriend in the entire universe. St. Stephen is often depicted with stones, a Gospel Book, a miniature church and a martyr's palm frond. The reason for the appointment of the d… Stephen synonyms, Stephen pronunciation, Stephen translation, English dictionary definition of Stephen. Acts 8:2[Acts 8:2] says "Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him," but the location where he was buried is not specified. The pronunciation of name 'Stephen' is 'Stee-ven' or 'STEF'en'. [2] The reason for the appointment of the deacons is stated to have been dissatisfaction among Hellenistic (that is, Greek-influenced and Greek-speaking) Jews that their widows were being slighted in preference to Hebraic ones in the daily distribution of food. Vested in a dalmatic and holding a Gospel book in his book `` Box of Rain '': this is! 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