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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Feast of St. Stephen

"St. Stephen was stoned, dude!" was the comment of a classmate of mine in high school one day. We all laughed, because this young man was named Stephen, and this particular Stephen was fond of using various substances to generate euphoria and who knows what other kinds of feelings. It is not so funny now, looking back almost thirty years on this incident.

But I digress. Stephen is a family name. St. Stephen was the first martyr, and an example to all of us of the kind of courage we must have in living our Faith - even to the point of death.

St. Stephen also is a good example of how a tremendous good can come out of evil - through Divine Providence. If you recall, the folks who were stoning Stephen left their coats with one Saul, who was observing and approving their activities. Saul went on to have his own personal experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus which led to his conversion. Saul, renamed Paul, became the greatest Apostle to the Gentiles.

Someone once said that the blood of the martyrs would foster many vocations. St. Stephen's life and death would be a good example of this.

PRAYER: Found at this site

St. Stephen's Day Night Prayers
Leading the great saints who radiate from the Christ-Child is St. Stephen, whose feast is December 26. First of the martyrs, he was stoned by the Jews because he courageously proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah. His name signifies the crowned. In a day like ours, when hatred of enemies floods the minds of children, the soldier-saint Stephen, who loved his enemies, is an excellent model for them and for us.
On St. Stephen's Day our night prayers at the crib are varied in this fashion from the previous night prayers:

Christ, the New-born, today crowned blessed Stephen.

Come, let us adore Him.

Stephen, full of grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people.

Thanks be to God.

You crowned him with glory and honor, O Lord.

You have given him rule over the works of Your hands.

Let us pray. Grant, O Lord, we beseech Thee, that we may imitate him whose memory we celebrate, so as to learn to love even our enemies; because we now solemnize his martyrdom who knew how to pray even for his persecutors to our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth forever. Alleluia.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the reflection & prayer..happy feast day..

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

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Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

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