St. Stephen's Day Night Prayers
Leading the great saints who radiate from the Christ-Child is
St. Stephen, whose feast is December 26. First of the martyrs,
he was stoned by the Jews because he courageously proclaimed that
Jesus was the Messiah. His name signifies the crowned. In a day
like ours, when hatred of enemies floods the minds of children,
the soldier-saint Stephen, who loved his enemies, is an excellent
model for them and for us.
On St. Stephen's Day our night prayers at the crib are varied
in this fashion from the previous night prayers:
Christ, the New-born, today crowned blessed Stephen.
Come, let us adore Him.
Stephen, full of grace and power, was working great wonders and
signs among the people.
Thanks be to God.
You crowned him with glory and honor, O Lord.
You have given him rule over the works of Your hands.
Let us pray. Grant, O Lord, we beseech Thee, that we may imitate
him whose memory we celebrate, so as to learn to love even our
enemies; because we now solemnize his martyrdom who knew how to
pray even for his persecutors to our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son,
who liveth and reigneth forever. Alleluia.
Prayer Source: Christmas to Candlemas in a Catholic Home by Helen
McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota
Prayer to St. Stephen
We give thee thanks, O Lord of glory, for the example of the first
martyr Stephen, who looked up to heaven and prayed for his persecutors
to thy Son Jesus Christ, who standeth at thy right hand: where
he liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God,
in glory everlasting.
Prayer of Saint Stephen Martyr
Loving God, Saint Stephen was one of the first deacons in the
Church. The Apostles ordained him with six others because they
needed ministers who wouldoversee the needs of the poor and the
widowed. His holiness was so evident that when he preached to
his enemies, his face glowed brightly like an angel's. I ask him
to pray for those who have been called to a life of service as
ordained deacons. O Lord, help them to be a sign of Your love
in their parishes and in the world where they live and work. Bless
them with a vision of their ministry that stirs them to passion
and tireless effort. Saint Stephen, pray for us. Amen. - Terry
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