O, First Martyr and Apostle of Christ, you fought the good fight. You exposed the perversion of the persecutors, for when you were killed by stoning of the hands of the wicked men, you received a crown from the Right Hand on high. -- Troparion of St. Stephen
Saint Stephen is the patron saint of Young Adult Ministry in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. His total commitment to Jesus Christ shines as an example, guiding the ministry. St. Stephen was one of the first Deacons ordained in the church. At a young age, he actively preached the Gospel of Christ in Jerusalem where he was criticized and persecuted by many Jewish leaders. Stephen was chased outside the walls of Jerusalem and stoned to death. As his persecutors stoned him, he prayed, “Lord do not charge them with this crime,” and he took his last breath. Stephen is an example to be followed, an important witness during an age when many Orthodox Christians died for their faith. The witness of Stephen and other martyrs is a challenge which all of us are called to meet. He is commemorated each year on December 27th. To learn more about Stephen’s life and ministry, read the Book of Acts, Chapters 6 and 7.
Prayer for Young Adults
Lord, as we struggle for meaning and purpose in life, Guide us with Your helping hand. Teach us to be aware of God’s abiding love, and stir our concern for our fellow man. We commit to You our lives in the spirit of dedication and obedience so that we may be spiritually renewed through the teaching of our Faith and the guidance of the Orthodox Church.
For You are the God that loves mankind and to You we ascribe Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.