In short

St. Stephen's Day, also called St. Stephen's Day, is a Christian holiday to commemorate St. Stephen, the first martyr Christian or protomartyr, celebrated on December 26 in the christianity western and December 27 in the christianity Oriental. The churches orthodox Orientals that adhere to the Julian calendar mark St. Stephen's Day on December 27 according to that calendar, which places it on January 9 of the Gregorian calendar used in secular contexts. In Latin Christian denominations, St. Stephen's Day marks the second day of Christmas.

Saint Etienne

Saint Stephen, first deacon and first martyr

Saint Stephen is a preacher Jewish of Ier century considered a posteriori like the first deacon (protodeacon) and the first martyr (protomartyr) of Christianity

Stephen appears in Acts chapter 6, where he is presented as a Jewish Hellenist who recognized Jesus as the Messiah and was chosen with six other “men of good reputation, of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom” to become deacons responsible for assisting the apostles for the benefit of the community

According to the Acts of the Apostles, Stephen performed “wonders and wonderful signs among the people” (Acts 6:8). Erudite, he easily overcomes a debate that takes place at the Synagogue of the Freedmen, place of worship of the descendants of Jews enslaved and deported by Pompey, then freed.

Before the Sanhedrin, Stephen was then confronted with witnesses who accused him of four blasphemies: against God, against Moses, against the Law and against the Temple of Jerusalem, a holy place. Stephen exonerates himself from these accusations by summarizing the history of Israel. He first presents a triple praise of God of glory ; he then praises Moses for his fervor, his miracles and for the quality of his access to God; he continues by praising the Law threefold, which comes from God, is transmitted by Moses and gives life; finally he praises the Temple, commissioned by God and built by Solomon (Acts 7:2-50).

Stephen is condemned to stoning for blasphemy not against the Temple, but against God, because he pronounces the divine Name, by definition unpronounceable in the Jewish religion in the following expression: "the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God ».

The trial and death of James, brother of Jesus, are close to those of Stephen: for one as for the other of these two martyrs, there is question of blasphemy, then of a trial in the Sanhedrin, then of 'a stoning. The stories of Acts of the Apostles could have been influenced by this event, unless the account of James' execution is modeled on that of the Acts of the Apostles. Commentators also highlight certain similarities between the story of Stephen's death and that of Jesus' death in the gospels, parallelisms "which do not arise from a fortuitous contact: the narrator conscientiously modeled Stephen's trial on that of of Jesus", according to the exegete and biblical scholar Daniel Marguerat.

But Stephen's speech, implementing rhetoric that had until then been difficult for the Sanhedrin to criticize, suddenly changed direction to violently attack the Sanhedrin assembly. Interrogated as men with “stiff necks”, “uncircumcised” in their hearts and ears, his judges fell on Stephen, dragged him outside the walls of Jerusalem and stoned him, an execution at which Paul witnessed as a witness. Acts records that Saul, later converted and become an apostle under the name Paul, kept the murderers' clothes and then approved of the murder.

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Today and tomorrow, the christians East and West celebrate Saint-Étienne. First deacon and first martyr of the christianity, Saint-Étienne was stoned because of the new split between Judaism And christianity. Saint-Paul was present at the lynching. James, the brother of Jesus was condemned for the same causes. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #26December #27December #saintétienne #saintjacques #saintpaul


Saint Etienne