Saint Stephen, Deacon & Martyr

December 26 – St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr –

One of the first deacons and the first Christian martyr. Of the seven deacons, Stephen, is the first mentioned and the best known. At his death, the praying martyr was thrown down; and while the witnesses were thrusting upon him “a stone as much as two men could carry”, he was heard to utter this supreme prayer: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (vii, 58). Little did all the people present, casting stones upon him, realize that the blood they shed was the first seed of a harvest that was to cover the world.