Etienne (first martyr)
See also: Holy Etienne
Its name comes from the Greek Στέφανος ( Stephanos ), “crowned” or, according to Jacques de Voragine in the Golden Legend , of the Hebrew word for “standard”. This name is taken again besides in a more faithful way in English (Stephen) or Dutch (Stefanus).
Etienne appears in the Actes, in chapter 6, where it is presented like a Jewish hellenist converted to the Christianity, chosen with six other “men of good reputation, the Holy Spirit and wisdom” to become the Diacre S charged to assist the Apôtre S.
In these days, as the number of the disciples increased and Hellénistes are reflected to recriminate against the Hebrews because their widows were forgotten in the daily service. The twelve then convened the plenary assembly of the disciples and said: “It is not appropriate that we forsake the word of God for the service of the tables. Seek rather among you, brothers, seven men of good reputation, filled of Spirit and wisdom, and will charge we them with this function. As for us, we will continue to ensure the prayer and the service of the Word. ” This proposal was approved by all the assembly: one chooses Etienne, a man full with faith and the Holy Spirit, Philippe, Prochore, Nicanor, Timon, Parménas and Nicolas, proselyte of Antioche; one presented them to the apostles, one requested and one imposed the hands to them. (Acts, 6,1-6).
Scholar and dialectician
According to the Acts of the Apostles , Etienne achieves “remarkable wonders and signs among the people” (Actes, 6,8). Scholar, it comes easily to end from a debate which is held with the synagog of Affranchis , place of worship of the descendants of Jews taken along in slavery by Pompée then released.
In front of the Sanhédrin, one then confronts Etienne with false witnesses which show it of four Blasphème S: against God, Brace, the Law and the Temple of Jerusalem, holy place. Dialectician, Etienne clears himself of these charges by summarizing the history of Israel, in which it presents initially triple praises God of glory ; he rents then Moïse for his enthusiasm, his miracles and for the quality of its access to God, he three times over rents also the Law - which come from God, is transmitted by Moïse and gives the life, and finally Etienne rents the Temple, ordered by God and built by Solomon. (Acts, 7,2-50).
Lapidation of Etienne
But the speech of Etienne, implementing a rhetoric hitherto a41dernier $c-b1, e,10 $c-b26 ce $c-b16 $c-b43, bn,84 difficult to criticize by Sanhédrin, changes orientation brutally, in a movement that the hagiographal ones qualify fraternal correction - essential notion of medieval Christianity, and is caught some violently at the assembly of Sanhédrin, reproaching its judges the hardness of their hearts and the setting with died of the saints . Challenged like men with the “stiff neck”, “ incirconcis ” in their hearts and their ears, all are thrown on Etienne, trail it out the walls of Jerusalem and lapidate it with death. Saul de Tarse, later converted, béatifié and covered of glory under the name of Paul, guard clothing of the assassins and approves this murder . (Acts, 7,54-60).
According to Voragine, lapidation took place “the year of the Rise of the Lord, in next August, the beginning of the third day”.
Etienne miracle-workerThe posterior writings with the Acts make of Etienne true a thaumarturge. In particular, holy Augustin, in the City of God , will tell many miracles achieved by the protomartyr , accounts which one finds at many hagiographal Moyen-âge, in particular Jacques de Voragine, Jean de Mailly or Vincent of Beauvais. Thus it is flowers which were posed on the furnace bridge of Etienne Saint then steady to patients, who cured miraculeusement. Thus of is it also of lady Patronia, seriously sick, which consults one day a Jew which gives to him a ring decorated with a stone, that she must carry. The talisman does not improve however its state. In cause of despair, Patronia takes refuge with the church of Saint-Etienne which she beseeches with enthusiasm. The ring slips with ground and she is cured.
The worship of Etienne
“Of the pious men buried Etienne and made him beautiful funeral” (Actes, 8,2). In the East like Occident, the figure of Etienne takes a great place for the first Christian communities and plays a big role in the progressive scission of with the Judaïsme and the rise of the Christian Antijudaïsme.
In 415, (417 according to Voragine), the body of the protomartyr is discovered by a called Lucien, priest with Caphar-Gamala, which had had the revelation of its site during a dream. The Jean bishop of Jerusalem makes carry out solemnly the translation of the body of the martyr to the church of Mount-Sion of Jerusalem, the December 26th 415. The Juvénal bishop, successor of Jean, begin construction in Jerusalem of a basilica intended to collect the skin of Etienne saint. Work is resumed in 438 under the impulse of the empress Eudoxie, wife of Théodose II. The remainders of the martyr are transferred in the new basilica, which will be completed besides only twenty years later, at the time of the ceremony of dedication by Saint Cyrille, patriarch of Alexandria, the May 15th 439. The current basilica was built with the site of the old work by the Dominicains at the end of the 19th century.
It gave its name to the church of the town of Brie-Count-Robert.
List of the saints of the '' gilded Légende ''
The extracts of the Acts of the Apostles come from the oecumenical Traduction of the Bible (TOB), editions the Stag, second edition, 1986. The extracts in Greek language come from the site of the university from Colombia-British, The New Testament & The Septuagint. Invaluable details and information come from the critical apparatus integrated into the edition of the Golden Legend of Jacques de Voragine in the Library of the Pleiad, published under the direction of Alain Boureau.
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