Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Omissions? Saint Paul goes to the Greeks, Stephen’s own people, and to the Latin speakers of Rome. April Saint Stephen's Day, December 26th is the Feast of St. Stephen in Western Christianity. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The Orthodox Church celebrates the discovery (opening) of the Saint's relics on September 15 and the Translation of the Relics of Protomartyr Stephen on August 2. St. Stephen's Day St. Stephen lived during the time of the Apostles and the founding of the Christian Church. In the Oriental Orthodox Churches (e.g. Corrections? This Novena will conclude on Thanksgiving Day, and Fr. Stephen is brought before the Sanhedrin on charges of blasphemy, like Jesus was. 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. December 26—Feast Later, during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Younger … The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is often called simply the "Christmas Novena" or the "Christmas Anticipation Prayer," because it is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas. Obtain for me your lively faith, that I may consider all persons, things, and events in the light of almighty God. The practical explanation for a historical event is normally the most convincing. August 20th has been a national holiday since 1771 when Queen Maria Theresia changed it … December 26—Feast Second Day in the Octave of Christmas Liturgical Color: Red Patron Saint of deacons, altar servers, stonemasons, and headaches. St. Stephen's Day is observed on Saturday, December 26, 2020. St. Stephen was the first Christian martyr, and although the celebration of this important feast on the day after Christmas may seem like an odd placement in the liturgical calendar, it was on Dec. 26 in the year 415 A.D. that his relics were found and transferred via procession to a church in Jerusalem. Feast of St. Stephen the Deacon The second day of Christmas is the Feast of St. Stephen, the First Deacon, "a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost," whose story is recounted in Acts 6-7. St. Stephen's School, Chandigarh founded in 1986. Or, Patron Saint of deacons, altar servers, stonemasons, and headaches, Feasts at the Conclusion of the Easter Season, Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, National Liturgical Calendars of the World. St Stephen was a deacon in the early Christian Church, and he was the first Christian martyr. The date of the recovery of the relics of St. Stephen was Dec. 26, 415. Pray, that I may be generous in making sacrifices July August Until 1687, August 20th was St. Stephen's feast day and thus became Hungary's national day, even after the feast day itself has switched around in the calendar a few times. Saint Stephen, may your courage, conviction, and knowledge of Scripture inspire all teachers and apologists to likewise convince through their education, through their passion, and mostly through their example of noble suffering. He was stoned to death around 35 gious beliefs, becoming the first Christian martyr. That is why we celebrate the feast of St. Stephen on Dec. 26. 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, … 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. The blood of Stephen watered Paul’s seed of faith. Saint Stephen, Deacon, the First Martyr c. Early First Century–c. The tradition of going house-to-house on St. Stephen’s Day survives in many countries, especially in Scandinavia, where the day is observed by visiting friends and going to parties. 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. Fulgentius of Ruspe, a North African bishop, here notes how fitting it is that the birthday of love should be followed by the heavenly birthday of one who died loving his enemies. And why did Christians branch out from Jerusalem and not remain attached to its temple? Why did the capital move from the plains to a new location in the hills? 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). Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cookie Policy, Books from My Catholic Life! As mentioned above, the main commemoration for St Stephen is December 27, the day of his repose by martyrdom(stoning). Join with us in offering this prayer, written by Deacon Keith Fournier, seeking his intercession: Saint Paul brings the Gospel to the Gentiles, the non-Hebrews. Feast of Saint Stephen, first martyr Lectionary: 696. Because they were running for their lives. Stephen came from a family of Hellenists, Jews who had emigrated from Palestine to one of the Greek-speaking provinces of the Roman Empire. It is 216 years old and the patron of this parish is St. Stephen, the first Martyr of the Church and it is situated beside Kollam Beach. BY: Fr. The trial and death of St. Stephen is remarkable not only in that his is the death of the first Christian martyr, but in how closely related it is to that of Christ’s. One ritual entails carrying the case containing the relics of St. Stephen’s right hand in processions throughout the streets of Budapest. The September 15 feast day celebrates the discovery of Stephen's relics in 415, after which they were solemnly transferred to a church built in his honor in Jerusalem. 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. St. Stephen's Day is a public holiday. Second Day in the Octave of Christmas And the plant that grew from that seed gripped the soil the world over. More modern festivities include fireworks and parades. 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. Feast of St. Stephen - Day Two Saint Stephen is the first martyr of the Church, and is the patron of stonemasons, masons, bricklayers, deacons, … 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. — St. Stephen was a deacon in Jerusalem who died by stoning in the year 36 in Jerusalem. 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. HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN . Everything we know about St. Stephen (d. 34), one of the first deacons and Christianity’s first martyr, comes from chapters six and seven of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament. 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). 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. Feasts at the Conclusion of the Easter Season 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. His feast day is Dec. 26. Christians were hunted down, imprisoned, or killed. This way is not always easy. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59 8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. The Church celebrates the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. He gave his patronage to Church leaders, helped build churches, and was a proponent of the rights of the Holy See. As Stephen’s words poured out, they spilled like fuel on his enemies’ burning rage. In Hungary August 20 is observed in honour of King Stephen of Hungary, who united the country under Christianity in ad 1000 and was canonized in 1083 for his accomplishment. Because they ran out of food. Prayer to St. Stephen . St. Stephen the Great (977-1038), was the son of the Magyar chieftain Geza, Stephen succeeded him as leader in 997. November The report that the relics of St. Stephen … December, Additional calendars from around the world>>>, Privacy & Cookies: This site uses cookies. May March According to Francis, the feast of St. Stephen is also a call to remember the many martyrs of the Church, both those of the past and those of … Armenian Liturgy . on Amazon. But after his conversion, Saint Paul paradoxically carried out the mission of the man whose death he personally witnessed. It is not always easy to avoid deviating too much in one or the other direction: to give up truth for the sake of love, or to give up love for the sake of truth. 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. Patron Saint of deacons, altar servers, stonemasons, and headaches, Christ rises in indignation as the first martyr is brutalized. Why did the army invade on this day and not the next? Because of flooding. He was stoned to death around 35 gious beliefs, becoming the first Christian martyr. What the Jewish leaders could not accomplish by argument, they would accomplish by force. 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. Stephen is forcibly dragged out of Jerusalem and stoned to death, with the future Saint Paul a witness, if not a participant, to the brutal event. I: Ordinary: 667 Proper of Seasons: 421 Psalms from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1321 Christian Prayer: Ordinary: 694 Proper of … When Stephen called them Christ’s “betrayers and murderers,” the Jewish leaders “became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen” (Acts 7:52–54). The Book of Acts (chapters 6 and 7) describes Stephen as a man "full of grace and power," as well as a skilled speaker. Devotion to the protomartyr Stephen was likely immediate, and he became an icon of Christian sacrifice throughout Roman times and beyond. The Book of Acts (chapters 6 and 7) describes Stephen as a man "full of grace and power," as well as a skilled speaker. June September 2020 has been a year of knots, and this is one way to pray for God's continued help. Stephen was “full of grace and power” and performed “great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8). Following the collapse of the communist state in Hungary, however, the holiday was again celebrated as St. Stephen’s Day. St. Stephen's Church, Delhi and St. Stephen's Hospital, Delhi. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. The place of St Stephen’s martyrdom is traditionally identified as being close to the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, where today there is a church dedicated to the martyred deacon. Stoned outside Jerusalem, he died praying for his executioners. In the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries, the December 26 holiday is commonly known as Boxing Day, which takes its name from the practice of giving small gifts to household servants on that day for their work throughout the year. October as your Patron Saint . 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. We are also reminded of what John said in yesterday’s Gospel that the Messiah was ejected by His own people. Christ rises in indignation as the first martyr is brutalized In this he emulated Christ Himself. Christians immediately felt a great devotion to St Stephen, a devotion that only grew when his relics were re-discovered in the early part of the 5 th century. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/St-Stephens-Day. S aint Stephen, whom I have chosen as my special patron, pray for me that I, too, may one day. Holy Week & Easter Stephen’s death was not the result of a pogrom or mob violence. Reading 1 . He was one of … 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. The Acts of the Apostles describes it as a quasi-judicial capital case presided over by Jewish authorities, perhaps in the power vacuum between Pontius Pilate leaving Palestine and the replacement governor’s arrival. glorify the Blessed Trinity in heaven. Novena for St. Stephen Parish. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Updates? By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. St. Stephen is an example to us of faithfulness to Jesus, an example of holding fast to the truth in love, of the way we all should and want to go. In commonwealth countries, the day after Christmas day is a holiday but known as Boxing Day. HOMILY THEME: What St. Stephen teaches us About Christmas. St. Stephen is often depicted with stones, a Gospel Book, a miniature church and a martyr's palm frond. Evaristus Abu . Stephen died so that the faith could live. It is observed as the second day of Christmas holidays in several countries. And thus fresh, baby-faced Christianity was lifted out of its cradle for the first time and carried out of Jerusalem. Stephen then “gazed into heaven and saw…Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). St. Stephen's Day St. Stephen lived during the time of the Apostles and the founding of the Christian Church. Join us Nov. 18th-Nov. 26th in praying the Mary Undoer of Knots Novena for St. Stephen Parish and the wider Community. Psychological analysis, guesswork, and overinterpreting frowns and whispers are best ignored. The stoning of today’s saint boiled over into an anti-Christian fever on the streets of Jerusalem. Saint Paul continued viciously persecuting the Church until his conversion on the road to Damascus. January Saints: St. Stephen; Daily Readings: First Reading. 36. Ribbon Placement: Liturgy of the Hours Vol. 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. Liturgical Color: Red Stephen’s last words were to beg forgiveness of God for his attackers. 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. Coptic, Syrian, Malankara) St. Stephen’s Day is observed on January 8. St. Stephen's Church, Thope, is one of the parishes of the first diocese of India, Kollam. February His story can be read about in the New Testament Acts of the Apostles, chapters 6 and 7. The Church aptly placed the feast of Saint Stephen, martyr, on this day to show the difficulties Jesus and every Christian will face in witnessing to the faith. He is the patron saint of Altar Servers, bricklayers, casket makers and deacons and his feast day is celebrated on December 26. The Lord whom the Creed describes as “seated at the right hand of the Father” seems indignant and rises from His throne at the injustice He sees unfolding below. 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. It is an ideal Advent devotion; the First Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew. 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