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Saint Stephen

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Saint Stephen, Protomartyr, is often depicted in art with three stones and the martyrs' palm.

Saint Stephen is the Protomartyr or first martyr of Christianity and is venerated as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church and its Eastern Rite, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Church of England and its Anglican Communion among other religious denominations. He is identified as one of the first deacons chosen by the early church in Acts of the Apostles. The Feast of Saint Stephen is celebrated on December 26 in the Western Church and December 27 in the Eastern Church.

Upon the death of Jesus, Stephen became an outspoken supporter of what was then called The Way. He preached the teachings of Jesus and participated in the conversion of Jews and Gentiles. Acts tells the story of how Stephen was tried by the Sanhedrin for blasphemy and was then stoned to death by an infuriated mob egged on by Saul of Tarsus, the future Saint Paul [1] (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=Acts+22%3A20).

Appropriately, Saint Stephen's name is simply derived from the Greek Stephanos which translated into Aramaic as Kelil. Kelil meant crown. Saint Stephen is traditionally invested with a crown of martyrdom for Christianity.

Contents

Cult of Saint Stephen

For centuries the location of Stephen's tomb lay unnoticed, until in 415, when Christian pilgrims were flocking to Jerusalem, a certain priest named Lucian said he had learned by revelation that the sacred body was in Caphar Gamala, some distance to the north of Jerusalem. Gregory of Tours reports that the intercession of Stephen preserved an oratory dedicated to him at Metz, in which his relics were preserved, when the Huns burned the entire city, leaving only the oratory standing, Easter eve, 451. (Historia Francorum ii.6 (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/gregory-hist.html#book3)).

Numerous churches are named in honor of Saint Stephen.

See also

Resources

Further reading

  • Robert Eisenman, 1997. James the Brother of Jesus : The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls makes a case for the figure of Stephen as an invented cover for the actual historical career of James the Just.de:Stephanus

fr:Saint …tienne nl:Stefanus pt:Santo EstÍv„o

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