Saint Stephen, Deacon And Martyr
GRANT, O Lord, that, in all our sufferings here upon
earth for the testimony of thy truth, we may steadfastly
look up to heaven, and by faith behold the glory that shall
be revealed; and, being filled with the Holy Ghost, may learn
to love and bless our persecutors by the example of thy first
Martyr Saint Stephen, who prayed for his murderers to thee,
O blessed Jesus, who standest at the right hand of God to
succour all those who suffer for thee, our only Mediator
and Advocate. Amen.
The Epistle. Acts 7:55-60
But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
The Gospel. Matthew 23:34-39
"Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, "that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. "Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! "See! Your house is left to you desolate; "for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' "