2. The Feast of St Stephen

2. The Feast of St Stephen

St Stephen spoke of the arrival of the Messiah, saying: “It was Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you, from your own people, a prophet like me.’ ” (Acts 7:37)

Meditation: Forgiveness

“Today, our minds still filled with wonder and bathed in the light that shines from the Grotto of Bethlehem where with Mary, Joseph and the shepherds we adored our Saviour, we are commemorating the Deacon St Stephen, the first Christian martyr. His example helps us to penetrate more deeply into the mystery of Christmas and testifies to the great marvel of the Birth of that Child in whom is expressed the grace of God which brought salvation to all mankind (cf. Titus 2:11).”

“The One stirring in the manger is in fact the Son of God made man who asks us to witness courageously to his Gospel as did St Stephen, who, full of the Holy Spirit, did not hesitate to lay down his life for love of his Lord. He, like his Master, died forgiving his persecutors and thus makes us realize that the entry into the world of the Son of God gives rise to a new civilization, the civilization of love that does not yield to evil and violence and pulls down the barriers between men and women, making them brothers and sisters in the great family of God’s children.” (Pope Benedict XVI, 26 December 2009)

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See the full image:

Kempe / St Stephen with St Timothy / c.1900 / Stained glass / Holy Trinity, Dorchester

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