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On August 3, 415 AD, Lucian, the local priest of the village of Kefar Gamala discovered the tomb of Rabbi Gamaliel, the teacher of the young Pharisee Saul ( later the apostle Paul). The sage’s tomb also contained the remains of his two sons, and of St. Stephan, the first Christian martyr, stoned to death in 35 AD. The ancient village Kefar Gamala was in the territory of Jerusalem at the time of Stephen’s death. [Jewish Virtual Library]

The Christian Calendar has set aside August 3 as a date for remembering St. Stephen. The Greek speaking Stephen became a leader in the two year old church at a time of controversy between Greek speaking and Hebrew speaking followers of Jesus. Those who spoke Greek complained that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. Stephen was one of seven men selected to supervise the distribution and upon whom the Apostles laid hands with prayer. We call them deacons. [Tomorrow the story of St. Stephen continues.]

Bible Reading:; Acts 5:33 - 6:7