Essay on St. Stephen, One of the first martyrs.

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Saint Stephen is the first Christian martyr of the first century. In the Acts of the Apostles, written by Saint Luke, the Evangelist, his faith and martyrdom is described. In the days after the Ascension and Pentecost, the numbers of disciples grew so large that the apostles had no time to concentrate on prayer and the ministry of the Word. So they assembled the community and told them to choose seven men to be deacons. …

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…to protect, receive and crown his servant, Stephen. Joyfully, he told the crowd of this vision. This enraged both the Sanhedrin and the crowd so much, that they forgot about the procedures of the court and the sentencing power of the Roman governor and dragged Stephen out of the city. Soon, they began stoning Saint Stephen. He died crying out to the Lord "Receive my spirit." and "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."