Saint Stephen (36)

The name Stephen means crown, and this is appropriate when you think of the saints because the first martyr of the Catholic Faith — the protomartyr as he is called — was named Stephen. Saint Stephen was stoned to death by the Jews in the year 36. Saint Paul was present at this martyrdom, and it was a grace which in no small way caused his conversion. Saint Stephen’s full story takes up two chapters in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapters 6 and 7. Saint Stephen was one of the first seven deacons. Saint Stephen’s name is mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass. He is the first martyr mentioned in the Litany of the Saints. He is buried in Rome, beside Saint Laurence, and greatly venerated there. Saint Stephen’s greatest honor is that his feast is the day after the birth of Our Lord.

See also: Saint Stephen’s Relics Discovered.

Stoning of Saint Stephen by Paolo Uccello (1397–1475) (source)