Monday, December 25, 2017


ST. STEPHEN, The First Martyr

December 26, 2017 – TUESDAY, 

ST. STEPHEN, The First Martyr

Feast, Red


Acts 6:8 -10; 7:54-59 / Mt 10:17- 22


     St. Stephen (d. 34), one of the first seven deacons appointed by the Apostles (Acts 6: 1 - 6), was the first Christian to be martyred. St. Paul, then known as Saul and a jealous Jew and persecutor of the early Church, witnessed the martyrdom of St. Stephen.


FROM THE FIRST READING:          Acts 6: 8; 7: 57- 59

     Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people ....


     But they shouted and covered their ears with their hands and rushed together upon him. They brought him out of the city and stoned him, and the witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul.


     As they were stoning him. Stephen prayed saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."


From the GOSPEL READING:        Mt 10: 17- 22

     Jesus said, "Be on your guard with respect to people, for they will hand you over to their courts and they will flog you in their synagogues. You will be brought to trial before rulers and kings because of me, and so you may witness to them and the pagans.


     "But when you are arrested, do not worry about what you are to say and how you are to say it; when the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. For it is not you who will speak; but it will be the Spirit of your Father in you.


     "Brother will hand over brother to death, and a father his child; children will turn against parents and have them put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved."



     In the Gospel reading Jesus warns his followers that his followers would be persecuted because of their fidelity to Jesus. Throughout its long history men and women have given their lives in witness to their love for Christ and his Church.


     One of the first seven deacons in the Church to help in the distribution of food and assistance to widows and the poor, St. Stephen was the first Martyr of the Church. His martyrdom is given in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles. Saul, the future St. Paul and Apostle to the Gentiles, was a witness at Stephen's martyrdom.


     Like the Lord Jesus, Stephen died outside the city, stoned to death for what his tormentors considered blasphemy. Like Christ, at his death, he commends his spirit

to God and forgives his tormentors, "Lord, do not hold this sin

against them."


     At the Mass, the Church prays, "Grant, Lord, we pray, that we may imitate what we worship, and so learn to love even our enemies, for the heavenly birthday of a man who knew how to pray even for his persecutors."









Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 


Have a good day!



These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following: 


   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the

   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish

   |  distributed free and for personal use only.  




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