Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59 8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. St. Stephen’s Day, also called Boxing Day, Wren Day, or Constitution Day, one of two holidays widely observed in honour of two Christian saints. Stephen then “gazed into heaven and saw…Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). HOMILY: “Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. July Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... St. Stephen, stained-glass window, 19th century; in St. Mary's Church, Bury St. Edmunds, England. St. Stephen’s Day, also called Boxing Day, Wren Day, or Constitution Day, one of two holidays widely observed in honour of two Christian saints. Stephen gave a long and impassioned speech to the Jewish Council explaining how his belief in Christ fulfilled God’s plans for the Jews as foretold by Abraham and Moses and as embodied in Solomon’s temple. He was stoned to death around 35 gious beliefs, becoming the first Christian martyr. We are also reminded of what John said in yesterday’s Gospel that the Messiah was ejected by His own people. It is observed as the second day of Christmas holidays in several countries. Ribbon Placement: Liturgy of the Hours Vol. In 1949 the country’s communist regime promulgated a new constitution on that day with the intent of transforming the Christian-themed holiday into a politically inspired one, which they renamed Constitution Day. He is the patron saint of Altar Servers, bricklayers, casket makers and deacons and his feast day is celebrated on December 26. Evaristus Abu . Already raised a Christian, in 996 he wed the daughter of Duke Henry II of Bavaria and devoted much of his reign to the promotion of the Christian faith. The very day Stephen was martyred, “a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria…Saul was ravaging the church by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women, he committed them to prison” (Acts 8:1–3). So while Jesus told his followers to “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19), early Christianity began to spread for a very practical reason—Stephen’s murder. In the Oriental Orthodox Churches (e.g. This Novena will conclude on Thanksgiving Day, and Fr. Saint Stephen's feast day is December 26 in the Western Church (the "feast of Stephen" mentioned in the popular Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslas," and the Second Day of Christmas) and December 27 in the Eastern Church. What the Jewish leaders could not accomplish by argument, they would accomplish by force. Stephen’s death was not the result of a pogrom or mob violence. But his success provoked jealousy and hatred among his former fellow Jews, who slandered and distorted his words so grievously that Stephen was arrested by the Sanhedrin. In commonwealth countries, the day after Christmas day is a holiday but known as Boxing Day. Stephen’s last words were to beg forgiveness of God for his attackers. Saint Paul continued viciously persecuting the Church until his conversion on the road to Damascus. But after his conversion, Saint Paul paradoxically carried out the mission of the man whose death he personally witnessed. Saint Stephen, Deacon, the First Martyr c. Early First Century–c. Feasts at the Conclusion of the Easter Season Saint Paul goes to the Greeks, Stephen’s own people, and to the Latin speakers of Rome. The Book of Acts (chapters 6 and 7) describes Stephen as a man "full of grace and power," as well as a skilled speaker. Why did the capital move from the plains to a new location in the hills? Saint Stephen's Day, December 26th is the Feast of St. Stephen in Western Christianity. St. Stephen's Day is observed on Saturday, December 26, 2020. November The practical explanation for a historical event is normally the most convincing. February In the Armenian Apostolic and Armenian Catholic Churches, St. Stephen’s day falls on December 25 – the day on which the feast of the Nativity of Jesus (Christmas) falls in all other churches. I: Ordinary: 667 Proper of Seasons: 421 Psalms from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1321 Christian Prayer: Ordinary: 694 Proper of … St Stephen was a deacon in the early Christian Church, and he was the first Christian martyr. Armenian Liturgy . Saint Paul brings the Gospel to the Gentiles, the non-Hebrews. May The stoning of today’s saint boiled over into an anti-Christian fever on the streets of Jerusalem. St. Stephen is often depicted with stones, a Gospel Book, a miniature church and a martyr's palm frond. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cookie Policy, Books from My Catholic Life! — St. Stephen was a deacon in Jerusalem who died by stoning in the year 36 in Jerusalem. BY: Fr. 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). Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59. St. Stephen's Day is a public holiday. In Britain, Boxing Day is also known by the name St. Stephen’s Day.Stephen, a man “possessing great wisdom and full of the Spirit,” was the first Christian martyr as recorded in Chapter 7 of the Book of the Acts of The Apostles in the Bible. He was one of … Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. And thus fresh, baby-faced Christianity was lifted out of its cradle for the first time and carried out of Jerusalem. Stephen was “full of grace and power” and performed “great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8). By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Daily Mass Readings for December 26 2020, St Stephen’s Day, Feast, First Martyr 1st Reading – Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59 8 Stephen, filled with grace and power, … Stoned outside Jerusalem, he died praying for his executioners. St. Stephen's Day St. Stephen lived during the time of the Apostles and the founding of the Christian Church. St. Fulgentius of Ruspe December 26, The Second Day of Christmas, has been observed as the Feast Day of Saint Stephen, Protomartyr, since at least the fifth century. March 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. In Ireland the holiday is sometimes called Wren Day, because in the past a wren would be killed and taken door-to-door by children asking for money in exchange for a wren’s feather, which people believed brought good luck. December 26—Feast Second Day in the Octave of Christmas Liturgical Color: Red Patron Saint of deacons, altar servers, stonemasons, and headaches. Stephen is described as “a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit”(Acts 6:5) who is one of the first seven deacons of the Church, ordained into Holy Orders by the very hands of the Apostles to assist them in their priestly ministry. 2020 has been a year of knots, and this is one way to pray for God's continued help. 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