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Saint Stephen (Koine Greek: Στέφανος, Stephanos; sometimes spelled "Stephan"), the first martyr of Christianity, was, according to the Acts of the Apostles, a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem who aroused the enmity of members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy, at his trial he made a long speech fiercely denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgement on him and was stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus (later renamed Paul), a Pharisee who would later convert to Christianity and become an apostle.

Stephen is venerated as a saint in the CatholicAnglican,[1] Lutheran,[2] Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Stephen's name is derived from the Greek language Stephanos, meaning "crown". Traditionally, Stephen is invested with a crown of martyrdom; he is often depicted in art with three stones and the martyr's palm. In Eastern Christian iconography, he is shown as a young, beardless man with atonsure, wearing a deacon's vestments, and often holding a miniature church building or a censer.

The only primary source for information about Saint Stephen is the New Testament book Acts of the Apostles.[3]

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