August 2 Translation of the Relics of the Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen

Read about the Transfer of the Relics of St. Stephen here

The Transfer of the Relics of the Holy Protomartyr Stephen from Jerusalem to Constantinople took place about the year 428.

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of St. Stephen from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

Standing before the Master, illumined with the radiant brilliance of the Spirit and with thy supernatural sufferings, O crown-bearer Stephen, most rich crown of the martyrs, enlighten them that hymn thine endurance.

As first among the athletes to run the race and head of the assembly of the martyrs, O glorious and wondrous Stephen, thou wast accounted worthy to behold Him Who setteth the contest extending to thee a divinely woven wreath of victory on His life-bearing right hand.

As Thou alone art a Treasury of goodness, O Savior, Thou didst show forth from the bosom of the earth a priceless treasure, riches which cannot be squandered, a possession which cannot be taken away: the relics of Thy protomartyr Stephen.

Manifestly illumined with angelic splendor, O protomartyr Stephen, foremost among the deacons, thou wast revealed by angelic hymns where thou wast hidden, and, full of spiritual fragrance, thou hast been truly honored as is meet.

Thou wast shown to be a sacred speaker of divine mysteries and a theologian, disputing with the assemblies of the Jews and mightily denouncing their godlessness and their disposition which opposeth God, O most excellent martyr Stephen.

Come ye all, and together let us honor with divine hymns the protomartyr of Christ, the first to minister as deacon, the converser with angels, who hath splendidly shown to the martyrs the threshold of the course.

The first of the martyrs, the first of them that were chosen to serve as deacons, appeareth as a treasure hidden in the earth; and he hath filled the world with divine fragrance and the Church with rich gifts.

Resurrect my mind which hath been slain, through the activity of life which was preached by thee, O wise one, to hymn thine honored solemnity, and account me worthy to follow in thy footsteps, O blessed Stephen.

O glorious protomartyr who art full of faith, divine power and grace, today hast thou poured forth for us streams of fragrant myrrh, a fountain welling forth a river of divine blessings, and thou hast opened unto us a sweet torrent.

The feast day of the protomartyr hath been made manifest unto the imperial city as sacred, splendid and harmonious, truly full of light and spiritual gladness, preserving the dominion of the honored Church and dispelling the audacity of the barbarians.

Thou hast received a good inheritance as is fitting, O blessed Stephen, and where Christ the King of all is, there hast thou made thine abode; for thou hast been shown to be His minister, working signs and wonders with power and granting healing unto the sick.

Stephen, the great preacher of the Truth, the true champion of suffering, hath been planted as an upright and steadfast pillar of the Church, and stretcheth from the earth even unto the heavens, enlightening all the ends of the earth with the radiance of piety.

The vain council of the iniquitous Jews didst thou denounce with true boldness; and, covered by the stones which they cast at thee, O divinely eloquent Stephen, as a victor thou wast taken up into the heavens by the Spirit.

As one comely as the dawn thou hast appeared to the world, O glorious Stephen, driving away the darkness, dispelling the illusions of the demons, and healing the sufferings of the infirm and the sores of their spiritual ailments, O divinely inspired one.

Rejoicing noetically with the angels, O blessed one, thou dost truly sanctify the ends of the earth by thine arrival and grace, redolent with the sweet fragrance of spiritual myrrh, delivering us from misfortunes and temptations.

The power of thy divinely inspired words manifestly fell like a loud clap of thunder upon the ears of the iniquitous and darkened their visage, O blessed one, who art pleasing unto God.

Thou wast vouchsafed to see the glory of the Father and the co-essential radiance thereof, O Stephen, and He awarded thee with splendid crowns for thy sufferings.

The flow of thy blood hath opened the portals of heaven and hath shown thee standing before the Judge of the contest, Who extendeth to thee a crown; and thou criest: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Seizing the divinely manifest one like wild beasts, the deicides slew him with their hands which were defiled by murder, whilst he prayed earnestly for them that were slaying him, and chanted: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

With the law didst thou upbraid the iniquitous, being a lawful emulator of the Savior, and didst show them to be opposed to God; and, stoned to death by them, thou didst chant: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

Resplendent with supernatural radiance, O most excellent Stephen, the angelic visage of thy countenance showed forth the grace which issued forth from thee and which was richly hidden within thy soul. Wherefore, thou didst cry out: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

O crown-bearer Stephen, with the sprinkling of thy blood cleanse thou the hurts of my soul and my sinful wounds; for unto thy merciful aid and Christlike character have I had recourse, crying out: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

A crown of graces, whereof thou art the namesake, hath been placed upon thy precious head by the impartial Judge, Whom thou didst piously proclaim to be the Creator, God and King of all, crying out unceasingly: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

Into the hands of the Creator didst thou surrender thy spirit, and, rejoicing, the hosts of heaven received as a comrade thee who, before on earth, wast equal to the angels and now hast joined their choirs, unceasingly chanting: Ye children, bless; ye priests, hymn; ye people, exalt Him supremely for all ages!

The initiator of the sufferings of the martyrs, who hath brightly shown the straight path of torment which leadeth to the heavens, the protomartyr Stephen summoneth all in spirit to divine gladness, to partake of light and to share in sanctity.

Captivated by the love of Christ, and emulating His meekness and words, Stephen said: "Lay not this sin to the charge of my murderers, O Lord; but receive my spirit, O Good One, and account me worthy of the divine kingdom and the ineffable food which are with Thee!"

Comely and angelic of men, full of wisdom and faith, shining with rays of divine splendor, with thy mouth of godly speech thou didst theologize like a river, orating in godly manner, O divinely blessed one; and thou hast received a heavenly inheritance.

Thou wast crowned with a wreath of graces, surrounded by the choirs of the martyrs; and, standing before Christ, the Judge of the contest, pray thou in behalf of us that celebrate with splendor thy truly radiant feast, O blessed one, and deliver us from misfortunes.