|The Stoning of St. Stephen by Luigi Garzi (1638–1721)|
Shortly after Jesus ascended into heaven, the Church started to grow rapidly. Pretty soon, the Apostles realized they needed help, so they ordained seven deacons, and one of them was Stephen. Stephen helped take care of needy people in the Church. He also preached about Jesus, and that made people who didn’t like Christians angry. So they told some lies about him, and Stephen was condemned to die. Stephen talked about Jesus and asked God to forgive the men who were about to kill him. Only somebody who had the love of Jesus filling his heart could ask for that!
Sometimes, it’s really, really hard to forgive somebody who has been mean to you, called you names or hurt you in some other way. But having a forgiving heart is important for Christians. So today, ask Saint Stephen to pray that you will be able to forgive everybody who has ever did something wrong to you – and everybody who ever will do something wrong to you.