Saint Stephen

Stephen (Greek: Στέφανος Stéphanos, meaning "wreath, crown" and by extension "reward, honor, renown, fame", often given as a title rather than as a name; Hebrew: סטפנוס הקדוש, Stephanos HaQadosh; c. 5 – c. 34 AD) traditionally venerated as the protomartyr or first martyr of Christianity,[1] was, according to the Acts of the Apostles, a deacon in the early Church at Jerusalem who angered members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy at his trial, he made a speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him and was then stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, also known as Paul, a Pharisee and Roman citizen who would later become a Christian apostle.


Stephen
Saint Stephen by Carlo Crivelli
Deacon
Protomartyr of The Faith
First Martyr
Born5 AD
Died33–36 AD (aged 28–32)
Jerusalem, Judaea, Roman Empire
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodox Churches
Assyrian Church of the East
Anglican Communion
CanonizedPre-Congregation
Feast25 December (Armenian Christianity)
26 December (Western)
27 December (Eastern)
Tobi 1 (Coptic Christianity)
AttributesRed Martyr, stones, dalmatic, censer, miniature church, Gospel Book, martyr's palm. In Eastern Christianity he often wears an orarion
PatronageAltar Servers ;Acoma Indian Pueblo; casket makers; Cetona, Italy; deacons; headaches; horses; Kessel, Belgium; masons; Owensboro, Kentucky; Passau, Germany; Kigali, Rwanda; Dodoma, Tanzania; Serbia; Republic of Srpska; Prato, Italy

The only source for information about Stephen is the New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles.[2] Stephen is mentioned in Acts 6 as one of the Greek-speaking Hellenistic Jews selected to participate in a fairer distribution of welfare to the Greek-speaking widows.[3]

The Catholic, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Lutheran and the Church of the East view Stephen as a saint. [4] Artistic representations often show Stephen with a crown symbolising martyrdom, three stones, martyr's palm frond, censer, and often holding a miniature church building. Stephen is often shown as a young, beardless man with a tonsure, wearing a deacon's vestments.