Translation of the Relics of the Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen from Jerusalem to Constantinople (ca. 428), and the finding of the Relics of the Righteous Nicodemus, Gamaliel, and Abibas (ca. 428). Blessed Basil of Moscow, Fool-for-Christ (1552). Bl. Basil of Kubensk (15th c.). Hieromartyr Stephen, Pope of Rome, and those with him (257).
TRANSLATION OF THE RELICS OF SAINT STEPHEN
The Transfer of the Relics of the Holy Protomartyr Stephen from Jerusalem to Constantinople took place about the year 428.
After the holy Protomartyr Archdeacon Stephen was stoned by the Jews, they left his holy body unburied to be devoured by the beasts and birds. After a day and a night the renowned Jewish teacher of the Law, Gamaliel sent people to take up the body of the Protomartyr. Gamaliel buried him on his own property, in his own tomb, not far from Jerusalem.
When Lord’s secret disciple Nicodemus died, Gamaliel also buried him near the grave of Saint Stephen. Afterwards Gamaliel himself, who had been baptized with his son Abibas, was buried near the grave of the Protomartyr Stephen and Saint Nicodemus.
In the year 415 the relics of the saint were uncovered in a miraculous manner and solemnly transferred to Jerusalem by Bishop John and the bishops Eutonius of Sebaste and Eleutherius of Jericho. From that time healings took place from the relics.
Afterwards, during the reign of holy Emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450), the relics of the holy Protomartyr Stephen were transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople and placed in the church of the holy deacon Laurence (August 10). When a church dedicated to the Protomartyr Stephen was built, the relics were transferred there on August 2. Saint Stephen’s right hand is preserved in the Serapionov chamber of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.
TROPARION AND KONTAKION
Troparion of the saint, tone 4
Your relics have risen from the depths of the earth, like a treasury for the immortal life of all of creation. The Church, rejoicing in the grace that she receives from them, duteously honors you, Protomartyr Stephen. Preserve us from error and heresy by your intercession!
Kontakion of the saint, tone 6
You were the first to be sown on the earth by the Heavenly Husbandman, O all-praised one. You were the first to shed your blood on the earth for Christ, O blessed one. You were the first to receive the crown of victory from Him in heaven, Stephen, first of the suffering God-crowned martyrs.
2 Corinthians 1:1-7
- Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia:
- Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
- who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
- For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
- Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
- And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.
- Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
- And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
- Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them.
- But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.