St Stephen was a Deacon and the first Christian martyr of the Church. He was stoned to death in the first century, as recorded in Acts 7.
Who Was Saint Stephen?
Stephen was likely born around 5 AD and either was Jewish by birth or a convert to Judaism.
In Acts 6, the Apostles chose the first seven Deacons of the Church, directing them to care for widows and those in need so that the Apostles could focus on preaching the gospel and teaching the Faith.
After Christ’s Resurrection, St Stephen boldly debated the Jews, and, because the Holy Spirit was powerfully within him, he was able to do great miracles.
The Jews ultimately accused him of blasphemy and brought him to trail, where false witnesses testified against him.
But God gave St Stephen wisdom and he eloquently explained God’s great plan for Israel and the world, fulfilled in Jesus Chirst.
St Stephen then saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father, and the enraged Jews began to stone him to death, with Saul of Tarsus (later St Paul) looking on with approval.