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The Feast Day of Saint Stephen

Saint Stephen

The Feast Day of Saint Stephen

The feast day of Saint Stephen is often overlooked in its importance due to its close proximity to the celebration of Christmas day. In western churches this takes place on the 26TH of December and in eastern churches on the 27th of December. Who was Saint Stephen? Most of us know that he was stoned to death, but the story goes that he was one of the first martyrs of early Christianity and he enraged the members of the synagogues in Jerusalem by his teachings and he was accused of blasphemy.

Even during his trial held by the Jewish authorities at the time, he continued to fiercely denounce them which only led to further enrage them. His sentence was to be stoned to death. Stephen himself was one of the seven deacons appointed by the apostils to distribute food and other goods among the poor. It is assumed that Stephen was born Jewish, but not a lot more is known about his previous life. It was assumed he was one of the Greek Jews and this is why he was chosen as one of the seven to deliver charity. As the Greek Jews were complaining their widows were being overstepped in preference to the Hebrew speaking Jews, Stephen stemming from the Greek Staphanos leaves the assumption that he was Greek in origin.

Part of Stephen’s Speech which enraged to Jewish elders at the time was with reference to the fact that god appeared to Abraham in the desert and therefore was not only present in a building such as a temple but was everywhere. He highlights this by his reference to Moses and how God appeared to him through a burning bush. He further infuriated them with his argument that Jesus was not against the law of Moses, but he fulfilled it.

It is not hard to figure out why they would have been enraged by his outspokenness and tried to silence him. Stoning was the order of the day and poor Saint Stephen fell victim to it. The feast day varies, but for the most part it is not celebrated to any great extent except within the church. Most people would be recovering from the Christmas when Saint Stephens’s day arrives and in England it is called Boxing
Day, with reference to the disposal of the wrapping from the Christmas presents.
The only known mention of Saint Stephens Day through this season is in the Christmas carol about Good King Wenceslas who braved the bitter winter weather to go out to help the poor on the feast of Stephen. Other than this little is mentioned. King Wenceslas became a saint after his death in the tenth century.

So now that the Christmas day is over and you are into the 26th of December we wish you a peaceful Saint Stephens day, where you may have time to recover from all the good food of the season.


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