Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr, when he was stoned to death in 36 A.D. Stephen was also one of the first deacons. We hear of his courage in today’s first reading.
When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But he, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven
and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and he said,
“Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears,
and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Stephen is a great example of courage and fearlessness in faith. May we be worthy of his holy example.
Saint Stephen, pray for us.