St. Stephen Patron Saint

Saint Stephen Patron Saint, Whose Patron is St. Stephen.

st. stephen patron saint of deacons

Saint Stephen, whose feast day is celebrated on December 26th, is the patron saint of deacons because he was one of the first deacons of the Christian Church and the first Christian martyr. It is believed that St. Stephen was a Hellinistic Jew. The Apostles recognized St. Stephen for his trustworthy character and his oratory gifts. He was specially ordained to care for the relief of the poor widows. God worked many miracles through St. Stephen, who spoke with such wisdom and grace that many who heard his preaching became followers of Jesus.

St. Stephen is pictured in a 10th century poem as the owner of a horse that was cured by Jesus; it is believed that this miracle led to Stephen’s conversion. As a result of this poetic reference, St. Stephen was venerated as patron of horses in the early middle ages. In Medieval Europe, hay and oats was blessed on St. Stephen’s Day and in parts of Poland St. Stephen’s martyrdom was honored by tossing oats at the priest after Mass on December 26th, an imitation of stoning.

St. Stephen was accused by his enemies of blasphemy against Moses and against God. He was tried before the Sanhedrin and the Jewish people were enraged by his words. While on trial, St. Stephen experienced a theophany. He looked to heaven and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56). At this, the infuriated mob charged St. Stephen and cast him out of the town where he was stoned to death. At the hands of his foes, St. Stephen cried out to the Lord to not condemn his enemies.

St. Stephen was unjustly condemned for speaking the truth and he died falsely accused, just as Jesus had done. St. Stephen died with his eyes firmly fixed on God while he prayed for the forgiveness of his enemies. The stoning death of St. Stephen explains why he is considered the patron saint of headache sufferers and stonemasons. The fact that St. Stephen remained fixed on God and prayed forgiveness for his enemies at the time of his death help us to remember that we too must look to God in all adversity and practice forgiveness.

The Stoning of Patron Saint Stephen

To die under these circumstances, which is to be greatly exalted, may explain why St. Stephen is also considered the patron saint of coffin makers.

St. Stephen’s name is derived from the Greek name Stephanos, meaning “crown”. He was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr’s crown. Traditionally, St. Stephen is invested with a crown of martyrdom for Christianity and is depicted in art with three stones and the martyrs’ palm.

St. Stephen is the patron saint of Acoma Indian Pueblo; Cetona, Italy; Kessel, Germany; the Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky; Ligao City, Philippines; Passau, Germany and Prato, Italy.

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