Friday, December 26

St. Stephen and Boxing Day

St. Stephen (c. 35) was killed because of his convictions about the revelation of Christ in the world. Indeed, according to the Book of Acts, he was the very first martyr of the Christian faith. For centuries, Christians have remembered his faithfulness on the day after Christmas. Traditionally, it is a day for selfless care for the needy, the despised, and the unloved.

The day after Christmas is also traditionally commemorated as an official holiday in Britain and much of the rest of the English-speaking world. Known as Boxing Day, it is a day during which boxes of food are delivered to the needy. The entire community of faith seeks to celebrate with joy the manifestation of the Good News. Often churches organize the day to particularly serve the physical and spiritual needs of their neighbors and thus demonstrate that the Scriptural injunctions to exercise Word and Deed compassion are still in full force.

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