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Mass Attendance April 17-18

Saint Stephen, Deacon and Protomartyr

Today's Lectionary Readings

Saint-stephen-the-martyr-09 Today's first reading from Acts of the Apostles recounts events leading up to Stephen's martyrdom. Stephen is celebrated as the first martyr and is also sometimes called protodeacon, as he was one of the first of seven deacons chosen by the apostles and the Holy Spirit to assist in the ministry of the early church.

The name means "crown" and the Crown of Martyrdom became a way of speaking about the honor of having martyrdom conferred on oneself. Stephen's joy brought on by the Holy Spirit brimmed over into his preaching and testimony and was evident even to unbelievers, including his persecutors. Let us remember that one of them was Saul, soon to be St. Paul.

As we anticipate the coming of Pentecost, let us pray to be so filled with the Holy Spirit, that our love for God is evident in our lives, even by the serenity on our face.