YAL Patron Saint
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 the Young Adult Ministry.
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. He actively preached the Gospel of Christ in Jerusalem where he was criticized and persecuted by many Jewish leaders.
At a young age, Stephen was chased outside the walls of Jerusalem and was 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 from 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 on December 27. More can be learned about St. Stephen by reading the Book of Acts, Chapters 6 and 7.