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Saint Stephen Church

Stephen was the Greek Jewish Christian commissioned by the leaders of the Jerusalem church to look after the Greek speaking poor of the city as part of the church's mission.

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Stephen was the Greek Jewish Christian commissioned by the leaders of the Jerusalem church to look after the Greek speaking poor of the city as part of the church's mission. 

The original church was built by the Empress Eudocia at the end of the fifth century to house the Relics of St Stephen, the first Christian Martyr, and the adjoining Monastery complex was so large that by the beginning of the sixth century it housed close to 10,000 monks. Having been destroyed in the 12th century by crusaders not wanting to give Salah id-Din a base outside the walls, the new church was (re)dedicated in 1900, based considerably upon the remains of the old. The world famous Ecole Biblique (Bible School) was founded in 1890.


From the Scriptures

Acts Chapter 7 (Stephen's speech)

51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”  54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth against him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together upon him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


Chapter 8

  1 And Saul was consenting to his death.

And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the region of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Devout men buried Stephen, and made great lamentation over him. 3 But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.

The Revised Standard Version, (New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.) 1973, 1977.


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