Born in AD 5, Saint Stephen is traditionally venerated as the first Christian martyr. The Acts of the Apostles describes him as a deacon in the early church of Jerusalem who encouraged the participation of other synagogue members through his teachings.
Stephen was led to martyrdom after he was stoned to death for acts of blasphemy. According to reports, his trial resulted in his death after he made a speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment of him. St. Paul the Apostle was among those who witnessed his martyrdom. (Read: 4 Modern-Day Martyrs Whose Deaths Changed the World)
Today, artistic representations would often depict Saint Stephen with three stones and the martyr’s palm frond— a way to commemorate his unwavering faith. Christian images would also often depict him as a young, beardless man who is wearing a deacon’s vestments, and often holding a miniature church building or a censer.
The feast day of Saint Stephen is celebrated annually every 26th of December.
Prayer to Saint Stephen, the First Martyr
O glorious St. Stephen, first Martyr for the Faith, filled with compassion for those who invoke you, with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles.
I kneel at your feet and humbly beg you to take my present need under your special protection …(mention here). Vouch safe to recommend it to our Lord Jesus. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted.
Above all, obtain for me the grace to one day meet God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the angels and saints praise Him through all eternity.
O most powerful Saint Stephen, Deacon and martyr, do not let me lose my soul, but obtain for me the grace of winning my way to heaven, forever and ever.
Prayer from Facebook.