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Who was St. Stephen?


Our patron saint is St. Stephen, and you can see an icon of him here and in the background of this website. The image is from our banner, which depicts Stephen in the foreground and the industrial waterfront of Wyandotte in the background. Stephen is mentioned in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles, 
first in Chapter 6, where we hear that he was the first Deacon. Deacons then and now serve as a bridge between the church and the needs of the world. The story of Stephen's trial and death are told in Chapter 7. He is the first Christian martyr whose death is recorded. Facing death at the hands of the authorities, Stephen talked about his understanding of the story of God and creation, urging them to hear and obey the Holy Spirit. We celebrate his gifts of service, Spirit, and preaching. His feast day is December 26, and we typically celebrate it on the Sunday after Christmas. You may remember the old Christmas song "Good King Wenceslas," which begins, "Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen." It's talking about December 26, but it also invokes the memory of St. Stephen as it tells the story of a king whose desire to help a poor man nearly costs his life (and the life of his servant). The selflessness of the king ends up providing warmth and encouragement for his servant, demonstrating the power of such acts of love.