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Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephan

An icon of Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephan.

The Icon

Protomartyr and Archdeacon St. Stephen

Feast day - Dec. 27, the 3rd day of Christmas

St. Stephen is one of seven deacons mentioned in the Book of Acts who was ordained by the Apostles (Acts 6:5-7). He was the first martyr of the Church. In the icon, St. Stephen is vested in the deacon’s sticharion. As the deacon who serves in the Church’s worship services, he carries the censer in his right hand and in his left hand he holds a church symbolic of that which he has been called to serve. The tropar (hymn) for his feast proclaims:

"You fought the good fight, First Martyr of Christ, and Apostle. You exposed the perversion of the persecutors for when you were killed by stones from the hands of wicked men, you received a crown from the Right Hand on High, and you cried out to God, saying ‘O Lord, do not charge this sin against them.’ " (Acts 7:59)

Troparion in tone 4

O Protomartyr and mighty warrior of Christ our God,
You are victorious in battle and crowned with glory, O holy Stephen!
You confounded the council of your persecutors,
Beholding your Savior enthroned at the right hand of the Father.
Never cease to intercede for the salvation of our souls!

Kontakion in tone 3

Yesterday the Master assumed our flesh and became our guest;
Today His servant is stoned to death and departs in the flesh,
The glorious Protomartyr Stephen.

For information concerning the life of Protomartyr and Archdeacon St. Stephen please click here