Saints Saint Stephen: The First Martyr

Saint Stephen was a Christian martyr who lived in the early days of the Church. He was one of the first seven deacons appointed by the apostles to serve the poor members of the growing community of believers in Jerusalem. Stephen was known for his wisdom and his powerful speeches, which often denounced the Jewish leaders for their opposition to the Christian message, and, among the saints, he has a special place of honor as the first martyr.

Saint Stephen was among the first deacons in Christianty. His Feast Day is December 26th.

According to tradition, Stephen's bold preaching attracted the attention of the religious leaders, who began to plot against him. They falsely accused him of blasphemy and brought him before the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of the Jews. In his defense, Stephen delivered a powerful speech in which he outlined the history of the Jewish people and their rejection of God's prophets, including Jesus Christ.

The speech enraged the Sanhedrin, and they condemned Stephen to death by stoning. As he was being stoned, Stephen is said to have prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit," and to have seen a vision of Jesus standing at the right hand of God. He died as a martyr for his faith, becoming the first Christian to be martyred for the cause of Christ.

After his death, Stephen was hailed as a hero and a martyr by the early Christians. He is remembered as a bold and faithful witness to the truth of the gospel, and as a powerful example of the strength and courage that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. His feast day is celebrated on December 26th, and he is the Patron Saint of altar servers, deacons and stonemasons.

Throughout history, Saint Stephen has been revered as a symbol of selfless devotion to the cause of Christ. His story is a reminder of the high cost of following Jesus, and of the reward that awaits those who remain faithful to him even in the face of persecution and death. For many Christians, Saint Stephen is a hero and a role model, inspiring them to stand firm in their faith and to boldly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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