Commemorated on August 2
The Transfer from
Jerusalem to Constantinople of the Relics of the Holy FirstMartyr Stephen occurred
in about the year 428.
After the holy
FirstMartyr Archdeacon Stephen was pelted with stones by the Jews, they threw
his holy body without burial for devouring by the beasts and birds. The reknown
Jewish law-teacher Gamaliel, having begun to be inclined towards faith in Jesus
Christ as the Messiah and also defending the Apostles at the Sanhedrin (Acts 5:
34-40), on the second night sent people devoted to him to take up the body of
the Firstmartyr. Gamaliel gave him burial on his own grounds, in a cave, not
far from Jerusalem. When in turn there died the secret disciple of the Lord,
Nicodemus, who had come to Christ at night (Jn. 3: 1-21; 7: 50-52; 19: 38-42),
Gamaliel likewise buried him nearby the grave of Archdeacon Stephen. Afterwards
Gamaliel himself, having accepted holy Baptism together with his son Habib, was
buried near the grave of the FirstMartyr Stephen and Saint Nicodemus. In the
year 415 the relics of the saint were uncovered in a miraculous manner and
solemnly transferred to Jerusalem by the archbishop John together with the
bishops Eleutherios of Sebasteia and Eleutherios of Jericho. From that time
began healings from the relics.
the reign of holy nobleborn emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450), the
relics of the holy FirstMartyr Stephen were transferred from Jerusalem to
Constantinople and placed in a church in honour of the holy Deacon Laurentius,
and after the construction of a temple in honour of the FirstMartyr Stephen the
relics were transferred there on 2 August. The right hand of the FirstMartyr is
preserved in the Serapionov chamber of the Troitsky-Sergiev Lavra.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.