Oil Dedicated to St Stephen 4 (Patron for Deacons)
St Stephen 4 (Patron for Deacons) from A Blessed Call To Love, Ireland.
Recognized as the Patron Saint for Deacons, was a prominent figure in early Christianity. Born in the first century AD, he played a vital role in the early development of the Church and is renowned for his unwavering faith, commitment to service, and ultimate martyrdom.
Stephen’s faith was bold and fearless. He fearlessly proclaimed the teachings of Jesus and engaged in debates with members of the local Jewish community. These debates eventually led to his arrest on charges of blasphemy against Moses and God. Stephen brought before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council, where he delivered a passionate defense of his faith and accused his accusers of betraying and rejecting God’s messengers throughout history.
In his defense, Stephen spoke about the coming of Jesus Christ, emphasizing his role as the long-awaited Messiah. He condemned the religious authorities for their resistance to God’s plan and their persecution of the righteous. Stephen’s speech infuriated his audience, and he subsequently dragged out of the city and stoned to death.
As Stephen faced his martyrdom, he displayed an extraordinary act of forgiveness. He prayed for his persecutors, following Jesus’ example, and asked God not to hold their actions against them. His last words were, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Stephen’s martyrdom occurred around 34 AD and considered the first recorded martyrdom in Christian history.
St. Stephen’s feast day celebrated on December 26th, the day after Christmas. He remembered as a faithful servant of God, a model for deacons and all Christians. And a courageous witness for the truth, even unto death. His life and death continue to inspire believers to stand firm in their faith and to serve others with love and dedication, just as he did.