The Love of Stephen

Today is the feast day of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

Which makes this a very good day to be mindful of our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are facing persecution, violence and death for their faith.

What strikes me about the story of Stephen's death in the book of Acts is the strong Christological overtones, the early Christians loving their enemies the way Jesus did:

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 

Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” 

When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Light a candle and say a prayer today. May we all aspire to the love St. Stephen displayed with his final, dying words.

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