December 26, 2023
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 26 of December, repeating indefinitely
The deacon Stephen, stoned in Jerusalem two years after the death of Christ, has always been the object of very special veneration by the faithful. The account in the Acts of the Apostles relating his arrest and the accusations brought against him emphasizes the parallel with our Savior’s trial. Stephen belongs to the group of seven deacons whom the Apostles associated with their work in order to lighten their load. He was “filled with faith and with the Holy Spirit,” and showed himself as a man of God, radiating divine grace and apostolic zeal. In St. Stephen, the first martyr, the liturgy emphasizes the imitation of Christ even to the extent of the complete gift of self, to the extent of that great charity which made him pray in his suffering for his executioners.