26 Dec: The Protomartyr, The Octave, and You

In addition to Boxing Day, and the day good King Wenceslaus went out, it is the feast of St Stephen.

St. Stephen’s feast has been celebrated this day since the earliest centuries of the Church’s life.

We are also in the Octave of Christmas. Octaves are mysterious. For Holy Church time is suspended so that we can rest in the mystery of the feast.  In her wisdom, Holy Church “stops” her clock so that we contemplate the mystery of the feast from different angles, through different lenses.

St. Stephen reminds us of the consequences of discipleship.  He is usually depicted surrounded by people who are beating him to death with rocks.  As I said, there are consequences of discipleship.

Are you ready for consequence in the days remaining to you?

Consequences can be more or less dramatic.  I think we need to get our heads into mental places wherein we can imagine even dire consequences.

Today I also congratulate all the members of the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen!  This is a guild of altar boy that started in England.  The first chapter ever outside of England was at my home parish of St. Agnes, in St. Paul.  In the sacristy there was a letter from the Archbishop of Westminster approving the chapter and each year on this day the new boys were enrolled.

I hope today that all your snow is neat and crisp and even.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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2 Responses to 26 Dec: The Protomartyr, The Octave, and You

  1. tradition4all says:

    “In addition to Boxing Day, and the day good King Wenceslaus went out, it is the feast of St Stephen.”

    Speaking of which, just today I learned an alternative version of the legend related in that carol. The carol relates how St. Wenceslas went out on the feast of St. Stephen to succor a poor man. By a miracle, his footsteps in the snow stayed warm so his servant could more easily follow him. St. Alphonsus de Liguori relates a different version of the legend that says St. Wenceslas was visiting the Blessed Sacrament when the miracle occurred: https://driftlesscatholic.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/good-king-wenceslas-went-out-upon-the-feast-of-stephen-for-eucharistic-adoration/#more-1662

    Merry Chrsitmas!

  2. Chatto says:

    Thanks for your greeting to us poor Guild servers! Our parish in Leeds has just been affiliated with the Guild, and I received my silver medal earlier in the year (only 15 years late!). It makes such a difference to the servers, and the congregation, to see these ceremonies. Merry Christmas Father!