Wednesday, 26 December, 2007
2nd Day in the octave of Christmas (II)
St. Stephen, First Martyr
“Stephen, one of the seven Deacons, chosen by the Apostles amongst the most pious and holy disciples, to help them, received from them the mission to organize the meals where the poor were fed in common. St. Stephen was renowned for his virtues and worked such great signs and wonders among the people that the Jews from five different synagogues became alarmed and summoned him before the Sanhedrin. The Jews stoned this holy Deacon, who invoked our Lord, saying: ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit... Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.’ (died 36) His name is inscribed in the Canon of the Mass.”
Collect: Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so to imitate what we revere, that we may learn to love even our enemies: for we celebrate the heavenly Birthday of him who knew how to pray for his very persecutors to our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son: Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end.
Lesson: From the Acts of the Apostles, 6:8-10, 27, 54-59.
Gospel: Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, 23:34-39.
Remarks are abstracted from The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual, from Editio Typica of the Roman Missal and Breviary, 1962
(Baronius Press Limited, London, 2004, in conjunction with the Fraternal Society of St. Peter, www.baroniuspress.com)