St. Stephen in Rome

Today is the feast of St. Stephen, the Protomartyr of the Church. St. Stephen’s relics are preserved in Rome, in the Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls. This is fitting, as St. Stephen and St. Lawrence were both deacons and martyrs. St. Stephen was one of the seven protodeacons of the Church of Jerusalem, and St. Lawrence was one of the seven deacons of the Church of Rome. Also, the Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls is the titular basilica of the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Legend says that when they deposited St. Stephen’s body next to St. Lawrence’s, St. Lawrence rolled over to make room for St. Stephen.

Here is a photo of the confessio of the Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls, where the relics of both St. Stephen and St. Lawrence are preserved.

465Both martyrs are commemorated in the Roman Canon. St. Lawrence’s name appears in the Communicantes prayer before the Consecration, and St. Stephen’s name appears in the prayer beginning Nobis quoque peccatoribus after the Consecration.

For more information about the Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls: http://romanchurches.wikia.com/wiki/San_Lorenzo_fuori_le_Mura

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