Thursday, April 15, 2010

St. Stephen (1st century to c.35)

"The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,
St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze,
Although he was little his honour was great,
Jump up me lads and give him a treat." (Traditional)

St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was born in the 1st century. He was stoned to death c.35 by the Jews after a trial before the Sanhedrin for blasphemy against God and Moses. St. Stephen's Day (Dec. 26) is often overshadowed by Christmas in the United States, but it is a public holiday in more than 15 countries including Ireland, Austria, Italy, and the United Kingdom (Boxing Day).
It is said that St. Stephen's tomb is in Caphar Gamala to the north of Jerusalem, however, some people say that he is interred under the high altar at the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Rome, Italy. He is the patron saint of bricklayers.

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