Protomartyr of the Church, first of the seven deacons chosen by the Apostles to manage the temporal affairs of the Church, died first year after the death of Christ. Little is known of his life except that he was a Jew, although his name Stephen is Greek, and he spoke Greek, from which it is inferred that he was born outside of Palestine. As deacon he administered to the welfare of the Hellenist Christians, and distinguished himself in controversy with the Jews. Incurring their fear and hatred by his courageous harangues before the Sanhedrin, he was falsely accused of blasphemy and stoned to death (Acts 6). Patron of stonemasons. Relics in the Church of Saint Lawrence. Feast, Roman Calendar, 26 December.