Friday, December 26, 2008

Saint Stephen - Protomartyr

Saint Stephen was the first martyr of the risen Christ. He was one of seven deacons, that ministered to the greek speaking, jews of Jerusalem. He had been learned, and eloquent, and bested the authorities in debate. He was brought to the Sanhedrin and condemned. Saint Stephen is often portrayed holding rocks, for his death came by stoning. Saul of Tarsus held some of the cloaks of the stoners. Was his head bashed in or did a flurry of rock kill him? Well, the artistic portrayal would be grizzly, this is one reason, that, a graphic, iconic substitute is shown.

For this early witness and proximity to Christ, he is placed on the day after ☧mas. In many countries his day is also a legal holiday. In some de-catholicised, anglophone lands the day is called Boxing Day, in which, gifts are given to some employees, and service workers, of daily contact.

To-day, for the first time in many years, a solemn high mass in the tridentine rite, will be offered on this patronal feast, of the parish of Saint Stephen, Cleveland, Ohio. This particular parish is a beautiful, national landmark edifice; yet it is in peril of consolidation or suppression (closure), not on account of it sustaining nature, nor its viability, but as a victim of an episcopal mandated, negative, restructuring. The ways of american business have entered the Church, another photo: from Saint James, Lakewood, O.
middle photo: from Saint
Stephen, Cleveland, O.
bottom photo: altar before mass

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