Saint Stephen

Feast day: December 26

Stephen was the first martyr and was the first deacon of the seven appointed by the apostles to distribute the alms fairly among the widows. The book of Acts of the Apostles, attributed to the evangelist Luke, tells the story of his election as a deacon, his miracles, his speech before the Sanhedrin, and his martyrdom.

"And Stephen, full of faith and power, did wonders and great signs among the people," according to Acts 6:8.

A group of Jews became jealous and made all kinds of false accusations against Stephen before the high priests. He defended himself with a long plea that ended in an indictment against the priests: they would not keep the law and would betray and murder "heralds of the coming of the Righteous".

The crowd present became angry and seized Stephen. Outside the city, he was stoned to death. Stephen thus became the first Christian martyr: someone who died for the faith.

He was stoned to death in Jerusalem after accusing the high priest and the elders of the murder of Christ. The later apostle Paul cooperated in his execution. He died ± 35 in Jerusalem.