The tiny kingdom of Andorra is very religious and very Roman Catholic. Like other Catholics, they celebrate Saint Stephen’s Day on the day after Christmas. Unlike many, however, they do so as a public holiday and not merely a church holy day.
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Stephen was not known as a “saint” any more than other believers in his own day. According to the biblical accopunt, he was just a godly Christian in the first local church in Jerusalem. He was a deacon there, along with six others, and dedicated his life to proclaiming the Gospel and helping people with their needs.
However, when summoned to give an account of his activities before the Sanhedrin around A.D. 33 or 34, Stephen enraged the council with his long speech designed to show Jesus was the long-awaited Jewish Messiah and that the Jewish religious leaders knew the Law of Moses but did not keep it. In response, they stoned Stephen to death, while he called out to God to forgive them for their sin.
Today, Saint Stephen’s Day is largely a “Second Christmas” and a time to relax and recover from the “first Christmas” before heading back to work.
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