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The Octave (Saint Stephen)

The First Martyr. 

And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the Twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said: It is not reason that we should leave the Word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: whom they set before the Apostles: and when they had prayers they laid their hands on them.

And the Word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the Faith. And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the Synagogue which is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spake. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and he said; Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

From the Acts of the Apostles 6:1-10; 7:54-60

Collect

GRANT, O Lord, that, in all our sufferings here upon earth for the testimony of thy truth, we may stedfastly look up to heaven, and by faith behold the glory that shall be revealed: and being filled with the Holy Ghost may learn to love and bless our persecutors by the example of thy just Martyr Saint Stephen; who prayed for his murderers to thee, O blessed Jesus, who standest at the right hand of God to succour all those that suffer for thee, our only Mediator and Advocate. Who liveth and reigneth with the Father, in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

The Anglican Breviary, Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation, Inc., New York, 1955, pages 288-289; 292

Additional Information:

For additional readings, or to learn more about the Anglican Breviary, visit The Anglican Breviary Website.

Ordo Kalendars are available from the Anglican Parishes Association Book Publisher.