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a hand-painted tempera-on-wood reproduction of the original icon
available in three sizes: 6" x 7 7/8" (small), 7" x 9 4/9" (medium) and 7 7/8" x 11 4/5" (large)
The Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen was the eldest of the seven deacons, appointed by the Apostles themselves, and therefore he is called “archdeacon.” He was the first Christian martyr, and he suffered for Christ when he was about thirty. In the words of Asterias, he was “the starting point of the martyrs, the instructor of suffering for Christ, the foundation of righteous confession, since Stephen was the first to shed his blood for the Gospel.”
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Saint Stephen preached Christianity and defeated Jewish teachers of the Law in debate. The Jews maligned Saint Stephen, saying that he had uttered blasphemy against God and against Moses. Saint Stephen came before the Sanhedrin and the High Priest to answer these charges. He gave a fiery speech, in which he recounted the history of the Jewish nation, and denounced the Jews for persecuting the prophets, and also for executing the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ (Acts ch. 7).
Saint Stephen is also commemorated on August 2 (Translation of his relics) and on September 15 (Uncovering of his relics in the year 415).
-- Source: OCA
"For the struggles you endured for Christ God,
a royal diadem crowns your head, O First Champion of Martyrs.
For you refuted the folly of the Jews and beheld your Savior
on the right hand of the Father.
Ever beseech Him, therefore, for our souls."
-- Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of the Protomartyr. Fourth Tone
"Yesterday the Master arrived in the flesh,
today the servant departs from the flesh.
He Who reigns was born.
Today the servant dies for Him by stoning,
the Protomartyr, the divine Stefanos."
-- Kontakion Hymn of the Feast-Day. Fourth Tone