Feast of St Stephen the Protomartyr
The Armenian ecclesiastical calendar marks December 25th as the feast day of St Stephen.
St Stephen was an early Christian convert, one of the original seven deacons ordained by the Apostles. Due to his passion for spreading the word of Christ, he directed his attention towards synagogues, preaching often. His preaching was confirmed by many miracles.
He became the first martyr of the Orthodox Church after being stoned for upholding the Christian cause. Further historical details about St Stephen’s life are recorded in Chapters 6 and 7 of the Acts of the Apostles.
As such, this feast in the Armenian Church is appropriately dedicated to all current deacons. They serve the altar on that day adorned with their finest orarion (stole – Ourar) and are also granted the privilege to wear a crown (Saghavard).