Wednesday, December 26, 2012

St. Stephan

Today is the feast day of St. Stephan. Stephan is known as the first of Christ’s followers to die for the faith, or the protomartyr of Christianity. He was appointed a deacon in Jerusalem in 34 or 35 AD. His successful preaching attracted the attention of Jewish leaders, and he was put on trial for blasphemy (Christians were still a fringe group of Jews at this time). He testified that he saw Christ standing at the right hand of God the Father. He was stoned to death by a mob permitted by Saul of Tarsus (later St. Paul). St. Stephan is often depicted as clean-shaven and with a boyish face, indicating he was a young man when he was killed; he is also referred to as having the face of an angel. St. Stephan’s story is in Acts 6:1-8:2.

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