One can find the story of St. Stephen in the book of Acts Chapters 6 and 7. He lived a few years after the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. It is believed that he was a Greek Jew who converted from the Jewish beliefs to being a Christian.
In those early years of the Church, Christianity was not a popular religion because the Jews felt that it was a threat to what they had always believed and practised. It was a risk to preach about Jesus. The number of Christians continued to grow into a caring community that cared for the poor and the widows, especially by providing them with food.
Stephen was chosen as one of the seven deacons appointed to organise and distribute food to the Greek widows. Besides he was also an effective preacher. People followed him to hear him speak about Jesus and His teaching, about His Death and Resurrection. The Jewish leaders lied about him, they took him to trial and accused him of blasphemy. Stephen stood firm and he accused them of causing the death of Jesus. They followed the Jewish law by condemning him to being stoned to death.
He became the first Christian Martyr when he was about thirty years old. The Church celebrates St. Stephen the day after Christmas. It is a celebration, a manifestation of St. Stephen who offered his life as witness, by standing up for what he believed : that this special Baby in the manger was the Son of God, who became Man for our salvation.
Stephen faced the conflict with the Jews with strength of character and without fear.
St. Stephen was the first Martyr of Jesus. He spread the Work and Love of Jesus. Jews accused Stephen of blasphemy and thus condemned him to death. The high priests, were jealous and angry for Stephen especially when he called them “betrayers and murderers” and so, they stoned him to death. While the stones struck him, he prayed for his opponents.