A Mandate of Christian Mission, Service, and Charity
Saint Stephen, mentioned in Scripture as one of the first Deacons and the first Christian martyr, remains a source of inspiration and an example of selfless service and sacrifice in Christ's Holy Church. Through the help provided by his constant intercession, and further relying on the ever-effective petitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the See of Saint Stephen ever moves forward in service to God and humanity through the Catholic Faith.
In fulfilling its mandate, the Patriarchal See strives to follow the example of its heavenly Patron, Saint Stephen, of selfless service to and sacrifice for Christ's Church, ever strong in the Catholic Faith. This service begins at and flows from the altar and the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. The Patriarchate's work includes direct charitable involvement, fund raising, establishment of chapels in support of mission and charitable work, academic research, media ministry, and bearing witness to Jesus Christ around the world.
About Saint Stephen
Saint Stephen was a Deacon of the early Church and the first Christian martyr. He was mentioned in the Book of Acts when the Church chose the first Deacons. Stephen was the first mentioned. He was noted in Acts as a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost who had brilliant oratorical skills and logic that no one could resist. Yet, his enemies, swollen with anger over their damaged pride after a lost argument bore false witness against him and accused him of blasphemy. He was arrested and taken before the Sanhedrin who, despite the charges against him, remarked that his face was as that of an angel. Stephen's answer to the charges was a lengthy recitation of the mercies God showed towards Israel and the way in which Israel re-payed them, including their condemnation of Jesus. This so enraged the judges and those present that he was cast out of the city to be stoned. Yet, even while facing his martyrdom, he implored the Lord to forgive them the sin they were about to commit. Saul, later Saint Paul, was present and witnessed Stephen's martyrdom. Stephen bore witness to Christ unto the end and followed the example of Christ by praying for his persecutors. His blood was the first of a great flood that was to cover the earth in the glory of Christ.
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