26 December • yesterday
• prayers
• tomorrow
Feast of Saint Stephen, The First Martyr

Saint Stephen the Martyr

Also known as

Stephen the Deacon

Additional Memorials

• 3 August (discovery of relics)
• 7 May (translation of relics)

Profile

First Christian martyr. Deacon. Preacher. All we know of him is related in the Acts of the Apostles. While preaching the Gospel in the streets, angry Jews who believed his message to be blasphemy dragged him outside the city, and stoned him to death. In the crowd, on the side of the mob, was a man who would later be known as Saint Paul the Apostle.

Died

stoned to death c.33

Patronage

• against headaches
• brick layers
• casket makers, coffin makers
• deacons
• horses
• masons, stone masons
• Metz, France, diocese of
• Owensboro, Kentucky, diocese of
• Toulouse, France, archdiocese of
• 92 cities

Representation

• deacon carrying a pile of rocks
• deacon with rocks gathered in his vestments
• deacon with rocks on his head
• deacon with rocks or a book at hand
• palm of martyrdom
• stones
• man holding a green palm and a golden book, presumably a Bible

Storefront

medals, statues and holy cards

Video

YouTube PlayList

Readings

At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, "It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit...

Now Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. Then they instigated some men to say, "We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God." They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, accosted him, seized him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin.

They presented false witnesses who testified, "This man never stops saying things against (this) holy place and the law. For we have heard him claim that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us."

All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Stephen preaches to the Sanhedrin, concluding: "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the Holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become. You received the law as transmitted by angels, but you did not observe it."

When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together. They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them"; and when he said this, he fell asleep. - Acts 6:1-15, 7:51-60

Almighty and everlasting God, who this day didst hallow the first-fruits of thy holy martyrs by the blood of the blessed Deacon Stephen: grant, we beseech thee, that we may be assisted by his prayers in heaven, who on earth was willing to pray even for his persecutors. - Leonine Sacramentary

O God, the teacher and ruler of all that minister unto thee, who did adorn the first beginnings of thy Church both with the ministrations of thy blessed Deacon Stephen and with the precious blood of his martyrdom: grant, we beseech thee, that we, in the hour of our departure, obtaining thy pardon, may be followers of his example and assisted by his prayers. Amen. - Milanese Sacramentary

Yesterday we celebrated the birth in time of our eternal King. Today we celebrate the triumphant suffering of his soldier. Yesterday our king, clothed in his robe of flesh, left his place in the virgin's womb and graciously visited the world. Today his soldier leaves the tabernacle of his body and goes triumphantly to heaven.

Our king, despite his exalted majesty, came in humility for our sake; yet he did not come empty-handed. He gave of his bounty, yet without any loss to himself. In a marvelous way he changed into wealth the poverty of his faithful followers while remaining in full possession of his own inexhaustible riches. And so the love that brought Christ from heaven to earth raised Stephen from earth ot heaven; shown first in the king, it later shone forth in his soldier. His love of God kept him from yielding to the ferocious mob; his love for his neighbor made him pray for those who were stoning him. Love inspired him to reprove those who erred, to make them amend; love led him to pray for those who stoned him, to save them from punishment.

Love, indeed, is the source of all good things; it is an impregnable defense, and the way that leads to heaven. He who walks in love can neither go astray nor be afraid: love guides him, protects him, and brings him to his journey's end.

My brothers, Christ made love the stairway that would enable all Christians to climb to heaven. Hold fast to it, therefore, in all sincerity, give one another practical proof of it, and by your progress in it, make your ascent together. - from a sermon by Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-stephen-the-martyr/


Pope Saint Dionysius

Profile

Roman citizen. Nothing is known about his early life. Monk. Priest. Bishop in Rome during the papacy of Saint Stephen I. Involved in the controversy over orthodox and heretical forms of Baptism. Following an inter-regnum of a year caused by the persecutions of Valerian, Dionyius was chosen 25th Pope.

Issued a doctrinal letter to correct the writings of Patriarch Dionysius of Alexandria regarding the Trinity. The letter opposed Sabellianism, and insisted on the true doctrine of Three Persons in one Godhead. Sent large sums of money to the churches of Cappadocia for construction and the ransom of slaves; invading Goths had destroyed the buildings and enslaved the faithful. Brought order to the Church after a period of no leadership, and made peace with Emperor Gallienus who issued an edict of toleration. He condemned Paul of Samosata as a heretic. First pope to die not as a martyr.

Born

in Greece

Papal Ascension

22 July 259

Died

• 26 or 27 December 268 at Rome, Italy of natural causes
• buried in the papal crypt in the catacomb of Callistus

Representation

• pope with a book
• pope receiving a vision of the Trinity

http://catholicsaints.info/pope-saint-dionysius/


Pope Saint Zosimus

Profile

Little is known about Zosimus' life before his election as Pope. May have been Jewish by birth, and his father may have been named Abram. He tried to expand the power of the pontificate, but allowed his personality, and his personality clashes with local bishops, to enter into the matter. A number of his letters survive, as well as a Decree ordering priests to stay out of taverns. Fought Pelagianism and Pelagius himself.

Papal Ascension

18 March 417

Died

• 27 December 418 of natural causes
• buried at Church of Saint Laurence in Agro Verano

http://catholicsaints.info/pope-saint-zosimus/


Saint Vincenza María López y Vicuña

Also known as

Vicenta María López Vicuña

Profile

Daughter of a lawyer. Educated in Madrid, Spain. As a young woman she refused an arranged marriage and took a private vow of chastity. She lived with her aunt, Eulolia de Vicuna, who had founded a home for domestic servants. With her aunt's help, Vincenza founded a group of women to minister to working girls, who were open to all sorts of abuse. She developed a Rule for the group, and in 1878 with three companions she took vows. They formed what became the Daughters of Mary Immaculate for Domestic Service which received papal approval from Pope Leo XIII in 1888, and which in Vincentia's life had spread throughout Europe and Latin America.

Born

22 March 1847 at Cascante, Navarre, Spain

Died

26 December 1890 in Madrid, Spain of natural causes

Canonized

25 May 1975 by Pope Paul VI

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-vincenza-maria-lopez-y-vicuna/


Blessed Agata Phutta Bi

Also known as

Akatha Phuttha

Profile

Raised in a pagan family, Agata converted to Christianity in her 30's, being baptized and confirmed on 3 March 1918 at Siengvang, Laos. Worked in the kitchens of the Catholic missions in the Thai cities of Mong Seng, Pkase and Songkhon. Martyred in the anti-Christian persecutions that began when the French left Thailand.

Born

1882 in Ban Kengpho, Savannakhet, Laos

Died

shot on 26 December 1940 in the cemetery of Ban Songkhon, Mukdahan, Thailand

Beatified

22 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-agata-phutta-bi/


Blessed Agnes Phila

Also known as

Margarita, Aknaet

Profile

Daughter of Joachim and Anna Thit Son Chum; she was baptized in Viengkhuk, Thaland in 1924, and her god-mother was the aunt of Sister Lúcia dos Santos. Joined the Congregation of the Lovers of the Cross in Siengvang, Laos, taking the name Agnes and making her final vows on 16 November 1928. Assigned as a school teacher in Songkhon, Thailand in 1932. Martyred in the anti-Christian persecutions that began when the French left Thailand.

Born

1909 in Ban Nahi, Nong Khai, Thailand as Margaret Phila

Died

shot on 26 December 1940 in the cemetery of Ban Songkhon, Mukdahan, Thailand

Beatified

22 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-agnes-phila/


Blessed Bibiana Khamphai

Profile

Daughter of Lon and Monica Di Benedetto. Pious girl, dedicated to the sacraments, and attended the Catholic mission of Songkhon, Thailand. Martyred in the anti-Christian persecutions that began when the French left Thailand.

Born

4 November 1925 in Ban Songkhon, Mukdahan, Thailand

Died

shot on 26 December 1940 in the cemetery of Ban Songkhon, Mukdahan, Thailand

Beatified

22 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-bibiana-khamphai/


Blessed Cecilia Butsi

Also known as

Sesilia Butsi

Profile

Daughter of Amato Sinuen and Agatha Thep. Worked in the kitchen of a Catholic mission in the archdiocese of Thare and Nonseng, Thailand, and know for the joy and courage she brought to living as an oppressed Christian. Martyred in the anti-Christian persecutions that began when the French left Thailand.

Born

16 December 1924 in Ban Songkhon, Mukdahan, Thailand

Died

shot on 26 December 1940 in the cemetery of Ban Songkhon, Mukdahan, Thailand

Beatified

22 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-cecilia-butsi/


Saint Euthymius of Sardis

Profile

Monk. Bishop of Sardis, Lydia. Active in the Second Council of Nice in 787. When he opposed the Iconoclasts, Euthymmius was exiled by Emperor Nicephorus. Over the next 29 years he was occassionally recalled and offered a chance to return if he would accept the iconoclast heresy; he always declined. Martyred in the iconoclast persecutions of Emperor Theophilus.

Died

scourged to death in 840

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-euthymius-of-sardis/


Saint Evaristo of Constantinople

Also known as

Evarestus, Sergio

Profile

Courtier to a relative who was an official in the Byzantine court in Constantinople c.842. Travelled on court business to the area of modern Bulgaria. However, by this point he had read himself into a more religious life, and soon after entered a monastery in Constantinople, taking the name Evaristo. He served his house in a variety offices and ways, including abbot for 30 years, the rest of his life.

Born

17 April 819 in Galatia, Asia Minor as Sergio

Died

24 December 897 at the monastery in Constantinople of natural causes

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-evaristo-of-constantinople/


Blessed Giovanni Orsini

Profile

Born to the Italian nobility; his was a pious family and several of his brothers became monks. Canon lawyer. Canon of the cathedral of Turin, Italy. Commendatory abbot of Rivalta, Italy. Priest. Noted preacher. Archbishop of Turin in 1364. Zealous preacher against heresy, including Waldensianism, while travelling continually to each of the parishes in his diocese. During the Avignon papacy he tried to get the pope to return to Rome. Created cardional in 1388. Apostolic legate to the court of King Charles VI.

Born

1333 in Rivalta, Torino, Italy

Died

• 1411 in Torino, Italy
• buried in the cathedral of Turin

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-giovanni-orsini/


Blessed Jean of Hainaut

Profile

Civil and canon lawyer. Premonstratensian monk. Canon of the Joyenval monastery in the area of Ile-de-France. Abbot of his house in 1441; he served for over 30 years. Norbertine visitor for areas of Austria, Hungary, and the German areas of Swabia and Bavaria which required him to inspect all monasteries and insure adherence to the Order's rule. The Joyenval house was destroyed by English and Burgundian; Jean obtained permission to take his monks and the surviving relics of the saints on travels through France to beg alms.

Born

early 15th century Hainaut, Belgium

Died

1472 of natural causes

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-jean-of-hainaut/


Blessed Lucie Khambang

Also known as

Lucia, Lusia

Profile

Daughter of James and Mary Dam May Li; baptized on 10 March 1917, Confirmed and received her first Communion on 4 June 1925. Joined the Congregation of the Lovers of the Cross, beginning the novitiate on 18 October 1935 and making her final profession in Siengvang, Laos on 15 October 1937. Assigned as a school teacher in early 1940. Martyred in the anti-Christian persecutions that began when the French left Thailand.

Born

22 January 1917 in Ban Wiang Khuk, Nong Khai, Thailand

Died

shot on 26 December 1940 in the cemetery of Ban Songkhon, Mukdahan, Thailand

Beatified

22 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-lucie-khambang/


Blessed Maria Phon

Profile

Daughter of John the Baptist and Catherine Tan Pha. A pious girl, Maria lived with an aunt named Mary and attended the local Catholic mission. Martyred in the anti-Christian persecutions that began when the French left Thailand.

Born

6 January 1929 in Ban Songkhon, Mukdahan, Thailand

Died

shot on 26 December 1940 in the cemetery of Ban Songkhon, Mukdahan, Thailand

Beatified

22 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-maria-phon/


Saint Marinus of Rome

Also known as

Marin, Marino

Profile

Son of an imperial Roman senator; served as senator himself. For being a Christian during the persecutions of emperor Numerian and the prefect Marcian, he was stripped of office, arrested, stripped of title, property and freedom, made a slave, tortured and executed. He miraculously survived torture chambers, wild beasts, fire, and water in the persecutions of Numerian, but was eventually Martyred. His story may be pious fiction.

Died

beheaded in 283

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-marinus-of-rome/


Blessed Pierre Boffet

Profile

Mercedarian. Professor of theology. Noted preacher. Worked to ransom Christians enslaved in Muslim-controlled areas. While on a ransom mission to Tunisia in 1442, he and Blessed Lorenzo Company were shipwrecked and imprisoned for ransom themselves. When Pierre converted a Muslim to Christianity, he was abused and executed. Martyr.

Born

France

Died

1452

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-pierre-boffet/


Saint Abadiu of Antinoë

Profile

Bishop of Antinoë. Martyred by Arians.

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-abadiu-of-antinoe/


Saint Amaethlu of Anglesey

Also known as

• Amaethlu of Wales
• Amaethlin, Maethlu, Maethlin

Profile

Sixth century hermit. Founded a church in Anglesey, Wales, now named Llanfaethlu.

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-amaethlu-of-anglesey/


Saint Archelaus of Mesopotamia

Profile

Bishop of Chacar (Kashkar; Cascus; Charchar) Mesopotamia. Fought Manichaeism. His writings on the heresy were valued by Saint Jerome.

Died

c.280

Video

YouTube PlayList

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-archelaus-of-mesopotamia/


Blessed Daniel of Villiers

Profile

Soldier. Knight. Benedictine Cistercian monk. Cellarer of the great Cistercian abbey of Villiers in the Brabant region.

Died

late 12th century of natural causes

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-daniel-of-villiers/


Blessed Margaret of Hohenfels

Also known as

Margarita, Margherita, Marguerite

Profile

Born to the nobility. Benedictine nun and prioress at Bingen under Saint Hildegard.

Died

c.1150

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-margaret-of-hohenfels/


Blessed Paganus of Lecco

Profile

Dominican friar for 50 years, received into the Order by Saint Dominic himself. Succeeded Saint Peter the Martyr as inquisitor general, and like him became a martyr.

Born

13th century Lecco, Italy

Died

murdered by heretics on 26 December 1274 at Valtellina, Como, Italy

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-paganus-of-lecco/


Saint Tathai

Also known as

• Athaeus, Athan, Atheus, Tathal, Tathan, Tathar
• Father of all Gwent

Profile

Nephew of Saint Samson of Dol. Hermit in Glamorgan, Wales. Founded the monastery at Llantathan (Saint Athan), Gwent. Founded the monastery school at Caerwent. Reputed miracle worker, he was noted gentleness, love of the country, for his generosity to travellers and the poor.

Born

5th century Irish

Died

6th century at Caerwent or Llantathan, Wales of natural causes

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-tathai/


Saint Theodore the Sacristan

Profile

Sixth century sacristan for the Church of Saint Peter in Rome, Italy. Saint Gregory the Great wrote that Theodore often saw angels.

Patronage

sacristans

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-theodore-the-sacristan/


Saint Zeno of Gaza

Also known as

Zenon

Profile

Cousin of Saint Eusebius and Saint Nestabus. Monk. Survived the persecutions of Julian the Apostate. Bishop of Maïouma in Palestine where he continued to live as close as he could to the monastic rules, including doing manual labour.

Died

c.400 of natural causes

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-zeno-of-gaza/


Also celebrated but no entry yet

• Isaac II of Optina
• Secundus Pollo


CatholicSaints.Info Portable Edition
email CatholicSaints.*