Start Date: 03 August 2021
End Date: 03 August 2021
Place: 365 Burrows Ave.
Saint Stephen, the protomartyr of the Catholic Church, was stoned to death by the Jews in the year 36. He was buried twenty miles from Jerusalem, on the estate of Saint Gamaliel. The precious relics of Saint Stephen were discovered there in the year 415. Their finding is commemorated on August 3, and their translation to Rome on May 7. The body of Saint Stephen was placed beside the body of Saint Laurence, in Rome. When it was put there, Saint Laurence’s body miraculously moved to one side, while he extended to Saint Stephen his hand, welcoming the body of Saint Stephen to rest beside his own. The Italian Catholics call Saint Laurence, because of this kindness, “the courteous Spaniard.”
Saint Stephen was one of the first seven deacons. He began to serve the poor and preach to the people about Jesus. More and more people joined the Christians. The high priests of the temple were jealous of Saint Stephen’s successes, and accused him of blasphemy, which means telling lies about God.
They took him in front of a judge, just like they did to Jesus. At the trial, Saint Stephen kept on teaching about Jesus. He told the judges that they were hard-hearted murderers of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. When the crowd heard this, everyone became so angry that they stopped the trial, dragged Saint Stephen outside and threw rocks at him.
Saint Stephen forgave the people who were stoning him, and asked God not to punish the people. Then he said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” and died. Saint Stephen was the first Christian martyr, the first person to die because he loved Jesus so much that he wouldn’t stop talking about Him.