Science of the Saints, 2 August, Translation of the Relics of St Stephen, Protomartyr

The Transfer from Jerusalem to Constantinople of the Relics of the Holy Protomartyr Stephen occurred in about the year 428.

After the holy Protomartyr Archdeacon Stephen was pelted with stones by the Jews, they threw his holy body without burial for devouring by the beasts and birds. The renowned Jewish law-teacher Gamaliel, having begun to be inclined towards faith in Jesus Christ as the Messias and also defending the Apostles at the Sanhedrin (Acts 5:34-40), on the second night sent people devoted to him to take up the body of the Protomartyr. Gamaliel gave him burial on his own grounds, in a cave, not far from Jerusalem. 

When in turn there died the secret disciple of the Lord, Nicodemus, who had come to Christ at night (Jn. 3:1-21; 7:50-52; 19:38-42), Gamaliel likewise buried him nearby the grave of Archdeacon Stephen. 

Afterwards Gamaliel himself, having accepted holy Baptism together with his son Habib, was buried near the grave of the Protomartyr Stephen and Saint Nicodemus. 

In the year 415 the relics of the saint were uncovered in a miraculous manner and solemnly transferred to Jerusalem by the archbishop John together with the bishops Eleutherius of Sebasteia and Eleutherius of Jericho. From that time began healings from the relics.

Afterwards, during the reign of holy nobleborn emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450), the relics of the holy Protomartyr Stephen were transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople and placed in a church in honour of the holy Deacon Laurentius, and after the construction of a temple in honour of the Protomartyr Stephen the relics were transferred there on 2 August. The right hand of the Protomartyr is preserved in the Serapionov chamber of the Troitsky-Sergiev Lavra.

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