Coptic, Syrian, Malankara) St. Stephen’s Day is observed on January 8. The Book of Acts (chapters 6 and 7) describes Stephen as a man "full of grace and power," as well as a skilled speaker. St. Stephen's Church, Delhi and St. Stephen's Hospital, Delhi. Omissions? 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 blood of Stephen watered Paul’s seed of faith. 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. December 26—Feast Why did the army invade on this day and not the next? Saint Stephen's Day, December 26th is the Feast of St. Stephen in Western Christianity. 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. As mentioned above, the main commemoration for St Stephen is December 27, the day of his repose by martyrdom(stoning). Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Liturgical Color: Red Because they ran out of food. His story can be read about in the New Testament Acts of the Apostles, chapters 6 and 7. on Amazon. Saint Paul goes to the Greeks, Stephen’s own people, and to the Latin speakers of Rome. 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 this he emulated Christ Himself. But after his conversion, Saint Paul paradoxically carried out the mission of the man whose death he personally witnessed. Christ rises in indignation as the first martyr is brutalized 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. St. Stephen's Day is a public holiday. That is why we celebrate the feast of St. Stephen on Dec. 26. Because they were running for their lives. as your Patron Saint . Stephen is brought before the Sanhedrin on charges of blasphemy, like Jesus was. May Reading 1 . To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cookie Policy, Books from My Catholic Life! March 36. October Christians were hunted down, imprisoned, or killed. 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. 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. Stephen was “full of grace and power” and performed “great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8). Patron Saint of deacons, altar servers, stonemasons, and headaches, Christ rises in indignation as the first martyr is brutalized. 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 School, Chandigarh founded in 1986. And the plant that grew from that seed gripped the soil the world over. 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. Devotion to the protomartyr Stephen was likely immediate, and he became an icon of Christian sacrifice throughout Roman times and beyond. He was stoned to death around 35 gious beliefs, becoming the first Christian martyr. Because of flooding. It is observed as the second day of Christmas holidays in several countries. Stephen came from a family of Hellenists, Jews who had emigrated from Palestine to one of the Greek-speaking provinces of the Roman Empire. St. Stephen's Day St. Stephen lived during the time of the Apostles and the founding of the Christian Church. Prayer to St. Stephen . As Stephen’s words poured out, they spilled like fuel on his enemies’ burning rage. His co-religionists, especially Greek-speaking former Jews like Stephen, fled to nearby lands. 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. When Stephen called them Christ’s “betrayers and murderers,” the Jewish leaders “became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen” (Acts 7:52–54). 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. In commonwealth countries, the day after Christmas day is a holiday but known as Boxing Day. Evaristus Abu . Join with us in offering this prayer, written by Deacon Keith Fournier, seeking his intercession: Later, during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Younger … This Novena will conclude on Thanksgiving Day, and Fr. Feast of Saint Stephen, first martyr Lectionary: 696. November 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. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. In the Oriental Orthodox Churches (e.g. January And why did Christians branch out from Jerusalem and not remain attached to its temple? We are also reminded of what John said in yesterday’s Gospel that the Messiah was ejected by His own people. August Feast of St. Stephen - Day Two Saint Stephen is the first martyr of the Church, and is the patron of stonemasons, masons, bricklayers, deacons, … Saints: St. Stephen; Daily Readings: First Reading. Corrections? Obtain for me your lively faith, that I may consider all persons, things, and events in the light of almighty God. 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. 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. Updates? 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. 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. I: Ordinary: 667 Proper of Seasons: 421 Psalms from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1321 Christian Prayer: Ordinary: 694 Proper of … He is the patron saint of Altar Servers, bricklayers, casket makers and deacons and his feast day is celebrated on December 26. June July Why did the capital move from the plains to a new location in the hills? In Hungary August 20 is celebrated as St. Stephen’s Day in commemoration of when the saint’s relics—held sacred by Hungarian Catholics—were transferred to Buda (now part of Budapest). St. Stephen's Day is observed on Saturday, December 26, 2020. Stephen then “gazed into heaven and saw…Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). 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. Psychological analysis, guesswork, and overinterpreting frowns and whispers are best ignored. Holy Week & Easter 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. He gave his patronage to Church leaders, helped build churches, and was a proponent of the rights of the Holy See. Following the collapse of the communist state in Hungary, however, the holiday was again celebrated as St. Stephen’s Day. 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 was stoned to death around 35 gious beliefs, becoming the first Christian martyr. April Stephen died so that the faith could live. His feast day is Dec. 26. 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. St. Stephen is often depicted with stones, a Gospel Book, a miniature church and a martyr's palm frond. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/St-Stephens-Day. September December 26—Feast Second Day in the Octave of Christmas Liturgical Color: Red Patron Saint of deacons, altar servers, stonemasons, and headaches. It is an ideal Advent devotion; the First Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. — St. Stephen was a deacon in Jerusalem who died by stoning in the year 36 in Jerusalem. 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. St. Stephen's Day St. Stephen lived during the time of the Apostles and the founding of the Christian Church. 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). 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. What the Jewish leaders could not accomplish by argument, they would accomplish by force. Saint Paul brings the Gospel to the Gentiles, the non-Hebrews. Second Day in the Octave of Christmas August 20th has been a national holiday since 1771 when Queen Maria Theresia changed it … More modern festivities include fireworks and parades. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). 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. Stoned outside Jerusalem, he died praying for his executioners. glorify the Blessed Trinity in heaven. 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. 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. 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 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. HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN . One ritual entails carrying the case containing the relics of St. Stephen’s right hand in processions throughout the streets of Budapest. And thus fresh, baby-faced Christianity was lifted out of its cradle for the first time and carried out of Jerusalem. The practical explanation for a historical event is normally the most convincing. 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. HOMILY THEME: What St. Stephen teaches us About Christmas. 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). Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. He was one of … Saint Paul continued viciously persecuting the Church until his conversion on the road to Damascus. Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. This way is not always easy. St. Stephen's Church, Thope, is one of the parishes of the first diocese of India, Kollam. Ribbon Placement: Liturgy of the Hours Vol. December, Additional calendars from around the world>>>, Privacy & Cookies: This site uses cookies. S aint Stephen, whom I have chosen as my special patron, pray for me that I, too, may one day. 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. 2020 has been a year of knots, and this is one way to pray for God's continued help. The Book of Acts (chapters 6 and 7) describes Stephen as a man "full of grace and power," as well as a skilled speaker. 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. 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, … 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 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. 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. St. Stephen the Great (977-1038), was the son of the Magyar chieftain Geza, Stephen succeeded him as leader in 997. Novena for St. Stephen Parish. Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59. Feasts at the Conclusion of the Easter Season 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. Saint Stephen, Deacon, the First Martyr c. Early First Century–c. St Stephen was a deacon in the early Christian Church, and he was the first Christian martyr. 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. February 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. 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. The Church celebrates the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. The date of the recovery of the relics of St. Stephen was Dec. 26, 415. 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. 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 … BY: 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. The stoning of today’s saint boiled over into an anti-Christian fever on the streets of Jerusalem. Stephen’s death was not the result of a pogrom or mob violence. The report that the relics of St. Stephen … 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. Armenian Liturgy . St. Stephen’s Day. Stephen’s last words were to beg forgiveness of God for his attackers. Pray, that I may be generous in making sacrifices Join us Nov. 18th-Nov. 26th in praying the Mary Undoer of Knots Novena for St. Stephen Parish and the wider Community. Death around 35 gious beliefs, becoming the first Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to feast... 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