THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FIRST MARTYR AND DEACON STEPHEN AT THE PATRIARCHATE
On Sunday, 27 December 2021/ 9 January 2022, the Patriarchate celebrated the commemoration of the Holy First Martyr and Archdeacon Stephen.
On this feast, the Church commemorates the narrative according to the book of Acts of the Apostles (chapter 7), which reads that Stephen was one of the seven deacons elected by the Apostles, “to wait at the tables” (Acts 6:2), the meals of love. Besides his philanthropic ministry, Saint Stephen preached that Jesus was the Christ. For this reason, the Sanhedrin lords violently brought him to the Sanhedrin where he confessed his faith, concluding that he sees the heavens open the Son of God sitting at the right side of the Creator (Acts 7:56). For this confession, Stephen was led to a place in Gethsemane and was stoned to death.
At the place of his stoning, where he was praying for those who stoned him and a young man named Saul kept watch over the Jews’ garments, Vespers was held on Saturday afternoon and the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning by His Eminence Archbishop Philoumenos of Pella with Archimandrite Makarios and Archdeacon Mark, at the chanting of Mr Vasileios Gotsopoulos with the help of Archimandrite Eusevios, Mr Fadi Abdelnour and the Nuns of Bethany’s Monastery of Martha and Maria. The service was attended by nuns and faithful from Jerusalem.
After the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Church of Saint Stephen, there was a litany at the rock of the stoning and a supplication.
After the Liturgy, the Hegoumen Archimandrite Epiphanios hosted a reception for the clergy and the congregation at the Hegoumeneion.