27 December 2017

Christians of the Holy Land participated in the celebration in memory of the martyrdom of Saint Stephen

On December 26, 2017, Christians headed to the site of St. Stephen's martyrdom, a cave in the Orthodox monastery that faces Gethsemane, for the ceremony in memory of the first martyr of the Church.

Actuality and events

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"The same love that brought Christ down from heaven to earth, elevated deacon Stephen from earth to heaven.” In the cave where St. Stephen's martyrdom was consummated, laity and religious, still in a Christmas atmosphere, celebrated the saint's life and his testimony.

'Friends of Jesus' Community
"Meditating on Saint Stephen's life and on his martyrdom, nowadays, when we are stoned in many different ways, makes us desire to preserve our faith until the end."

Nowadays, in an era of so many religious persecutions, the martyr's faith would seem to be more and more relevant in the lives of Christians. Today, another deacon presided over the celebration, linking the figure of Stephen to our time.

Custody of the Holy Land
"Even today, Christians give birth to Christ amidst violence and persecution. In this case, we invoke the intercession of St. Stephen to bless every persecuted Christian and give them the strength to be authentic to the end.”

The painting inside the cave takes us back to the scene of St. Stephen's martyrdom. At the same time, however, it indicates the path to follow by those who wish to encounter Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit.

'Friends of Jesus' Community
"Today, I asked myself how Saint Stephen is linked to the birth of Jesus and how life and death meet. Looking at this image, I remembered that of Bethlehem, where the angels worship Jesus in the manger. Here, we can see adoration as it is narrated in the Acts of the Apostles (and we can also see) St. Stephen sitting on the heavenly throne, adoring Him.”