Stephen (c. 5 – c. 34 AD) traditionally venerated as the protomartyr or first martyr of Christianity, was, according to the Acts of the Apostles, a deacon in the early Church at Jerusalem who angered members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy at his trial, he made a speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him and was then stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, also known as Paul, a Pharisee and Roman citizen who would later become a Christian apostle.

In this image—originally drawn by Martin Schongauer in the 15th century—Saint Stephen is shown holding a palm frond as an attribute, representing martyrdom and stones in his robe, which represent the stones used to kill him.

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Image by sdcason.com - CC BY-SA 4.0

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