Our Patron Saint

Patron Saint St StephenSaint Stephen, who died in 35 AD, was the first deacon and the first Christian martyr. Most probably a Hellenistic Jew, he was one of ‘the seven’ who were appointed by the Apostles to ‘serve tables’ in Jerusalem (Acts 6. 5). He also preached and performed miracles (Acts 6. 8), thus incurring the hostility of the Jews, who accused him to the Sanhedrin. There he delivered the great discourse reproduced in Acts 7. 2-53, setting out by a recapitulation of Israel’s history that God does not depend on the Temple and that Christ was the prophet announced by Moses. Incensed at his denunciations, his accusers, apparently without formal trial, had him stoned. Saul, the future Saint Paul, was a witness to his martyrdom. His death, in fact, made a great impression on Saul, especially when Stephen died confessing Christ and asking forgiveness for his persecutors. His tomb was not known until its discovery by the priest Lucian in 415. His feast has been celebrated on 26 December from the end of the 4th century.
-The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church

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