December 26, 2019

St. Stephen... "stoned to death... the patron saint of deacons, horses, coffin makers & masons."

61 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

If you, like me, think first of the Grateful Dead song, here are the lyrics, annotated.

Anonymous said...

St. Stephen's day - happy 2nd Day of Christmas, everybody. (From those of us who celebrate old school, through Epiphany).

Kevin said...

It's like the snow is laying round about, deep and crisp and even.

Splanky said...

It is also Boxing Day. In medieval England, the alms boxes would be emptied the day after Christmas and the gifts distributed to the poor.

Susan said...

Our youngest son is named after St. Stephen. He needed emergency surgery right after birth and it seemed that he would see the Lord in all His glory that very day. Our Stephen just turned 25 and is as wonderful a human being as any parent could hope for and we are very proud of him.

So St. Stephen's day is one of my favorite saint's days.

tcrosse said...

Meanwhile, Good King Wenceslaus sits on his bronze horse and looks over Václavské Náměstí in the heart of Prague.

Limited blogger said...

Yes Ann, I also thought of the Dead. And specifically the performance of the song at Cornell '77:

St Stephen

Wince said...

"One man gathers what another man spills."

William said...

Product placement is very important. If I were a saint, I'd like my feast day to be celebrated on the day after Christmas. It's a good lead in for your show. If I were a saint, it would be just my luck to have my feast day celebrated on some rainy day in Lent.

stevew said...

Being named Stephen I've always known this was St. Stephen's day and known his story. Always loved the Grateful Dead song by this name.

Sharc 65 said...

Reminded me of this other great artwork: a Peanuts cartoon, including a reference to St. Paul being present at the stoning of Stephen.

https://www.philipchircop.com/post/11245668821/what-do-you-see-arent-the-clouds-beautiful

Annie C. said...

The stable where I kept my horses growing up had a small shrine to St. Stephen.

Sharc 65 said...

Also this: "Beard, madam?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDe9msExUK8

FWBuff said...

It's also at Stephen's martyrdom where the Bible first mentions Paul (then known as Saul) who was participating in Stephen's execution. Paul was inspired by Stephen's death to continue persecuting the church in Jerusalem and then Damascus, where he had his life-changing encounter with the Lord en route. One of the greatest transformation stories in the Bible.

Amichel said...

I like the cheekiness of Catholic martyrs. St. Lawrence was martyred by being roasted to death on a great gridiron over hot coals. Before he died, after suffering on the hot gridiron for many minutes, he cheerfully exclaimed "I'm well done on this side. Turn me over!" He is the patron saint of chefs, cooks, and comedians.

AllenS said...

As soon as the hands of the clock turn to beer-thirty, I shall be toasting Saint Stephens.

Marc said...

Thinking of William's comment, pity St Anastasia, whose feast day was... yesterday. All she's ever had are commemorations, although she is remembered every day in the Roman Canon (as is St Stephen).

St Stephen is my patron saint, so I always celebrate the second day of Christmas almost as extravagantly as the first.

Titus said...

At the memorial union in Madison. Catching a bus to o’hare. Later Wisconsin.

gilbar said...

Stoned to Death?!?!??
and They Pretend, that marijuana is harmless!

Titus said...

The kollege klub is still here. Wow. Didn’t know. Tits.

Narr said...

Anybody recall the right words to the late great Mike Royko parody?

Good King Wenceslaus went out,
On the feast of Stephen.
[Plastic junk lay all about, (?)]
Priced beyond believin'.

Narr
Google's no help!

Titus said...

Hello Olin park and hideous Alliant center.

Titus said...

So many strip malls so little time.

tcrosse said...

The kollege klub is still here. Wow. Didn’t know. Tits.

No, it's not. The original was on State St, where the expansion of the library is now. The one on Lake and Langdon is an impostor.

Unknown said...

Stephen took his message of proto-Christianity to Cilicia, which included Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus, who is thought to have been a member of the Cilician Jewish congregation, was present at Stephen's stoning. It's quite a story. See Acts 6:8-7:60.
The Book of Acts is full of stories that are inconvenient in various ways to Christian theology, as it tells stories about people who had no idea of the long winning streak, and future schismatic catastrophes, upon which Christianity was about to embark.

Big Mike said...

Stoning is a really crappy way to die, so much so that these days only the Muslims use it, and only on women. Not that your average American feminist, snugly and smugly ensconced in her pleasant suburban single family house, cares a rat’s ass about their sisters in far off countries receiving genuine repression.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

I would not feel so all alone

h said...

In Ireland, St Stephen's Day is celebrated by groups of children who capture and kill a wren, and with the dead bird perched in a holly bough, and the children dressed up in funny clothes (and possibly black face), they go from door to door begging for money to defray the funeral expenses for the bird. Singing this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fov5HTEJDdk

albert venn dicey said...

The orthodox church celebrates it on 27th of December.

Lurker21 said...

Depicted with rocks on his head, as opposed to rocks in his head.

They used to day that "Stephen" was the Catholic spelling and "Steven" the Protestant - or maybe that was "Ann" and "Anne."

Lurker21 said...

h said...
In Ireland, St Stephen's Day is celebrated by groups of children who capture and kill a wren, and with the dead bird perched in a holly bough, and the children dressed up in funny clothes (and possibly black face), they go from door to door begging for money to defray the funeral expenses for the bird.


Remind me never to go to Ireland.

Openidname said...

Professor Llewellyn-Jones also has a cute post about ugly baby Jesuses: https://twitter.com/LloydLlewJ/status/1210156488351780869.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

For the record, I never understood the song of the Good King until I heard The Roches version.

MadTownGuy said...

No Dylan reference?

Roughcoat said...

I like the version from Pogo (sung by Albert the Alligator):

"Good King Sauerkraut looked down
On his feet uneven ..."

BUMBLE BEE said...

Roches are a wonderful treat any time of year.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

@Blogger Roughcoat:

"Deck us all, with Boston Charlie!"

narciso said...

in the taylor Caldwell story, saul tried to make amends with stephens family, but they as with many parties were reluctant to forgive him.

Scientific Socialist said...

Until reading this post, I didn't know anything about St. Stephen beyond "St. Stephen with a rose, in and out of the garden he goes..."

Roughcoat said...

Unknown, the full version:

"Deck us all, with Boston Charlie!
Walla, Walla Wash and Kalamzaoo.
Nora's freezin' on the trolly,
Swailer dollar califlower alle-garoo!"

https://www.rogerebert.com/balder-and-dash/-deck-us-all-with-boston-charlie-walla-walla-wash-and-kalamazoo-

Roughcoat said...

Oh, heck, let's do the whole thing, it's really hilarious:

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

Don't we know archaic barrel
Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou?
Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
Polly wolly cracker 'n' too-da-loo!
Donkey Bonny brays a carol,
Antelope Cantaloupe, 'lope with you!

Hunky Dory's pop is lolly gaggin' on the wagon,
Willy, folly go through!
Chollie's collie barks at Barrow,
Harum scarum five alarm bung-a-loo!

Dunk us all in bowls of barley,
Hinky dinky dink an' polly voo!
Chilly Filly's name is Chollie,
Chollie Filly's jolly chilly view halloo!

Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
Double-bubble, toyland trouble! Woof, woof, woof!
Tizzy seas on melon collie!
Dibble-dabble, scribble-scrabble! Goof, goof, goof!

robother said...

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" doesn't work with every crowd.

Roughcoat said...

"Joy to the world, the Lord has gum!"

{Sorry ... sorry ... can't help myself)

traditionalguy said...

Stephen was the first of many Christians who just could not be shut up. He kept on speaking the truth and speaking the truth.I wonder how long he could survive on the censored media today. His speaking disease was caught that day by a man named Saul of Tarsus who ended up creating the Christianity we know today.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Stephen prayed to Jesus, "rather than" God in this case

Churchy LaFemme: said...

Then of course there was Alan Moore's tribute in the "Pog" issue of Swamp Thing:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_HBKWtrKbYAk/S0-1pCoRZGI/AAAAAAAADqg/J6y2fBraDp0/s1600-h/Swamp_Thing_032_23-24.jpg

Here's the whole tribute issue.

Roughcoat said...

Unknown, we have met the enemy and he is us. :)

Gilbert Pinfold said...

Could there be a more Welsh name than Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones?

Ralph L said...

I went to a boys' school named for him. Its crest had six circles in a triangular configuration representing the stones. Later they were forced to combine with the failing nearby girls' school (St. Agnes) by the shitty bishop, so the crest of the new school is the circles over a lamb separated by a stripe.

The school hymn "The Son of God Goes Forth to War" was dropped by the sorry Episcopal Church for its militancy. The second verse refers to "the martyr first", which I always thought meant Jesus.

Gilbert Pinfold said...

@Ralph: The Kent School (CT) once had sports teams known as “The Fighting Episcopalians” before changing the mascot to “Lions”. Excellent rowing teams coached by Hart Perry...

stevew said...

@Big Mike: if the stoners hit you in the head with a large stone early in the process you won't experience much pain. I suspect though that the whole purpose of stoning, rather than, say, decapitating, is to lengthen the time it takes for the target to die. Punish you first while you're conscious so you understand the gravity of your sins.

Roughcoat said...

The school hymn "The Son of God Goes Forth to War" was dropped by the sorry Episcopal Church for its militancy.

No loss, as it's a ripoff of the original (and superior) Catholic/Irish song, "The Minstrel Boy" (which itself was based on an ancient Celtic air, "The Moreen").

etbass said...

Stephen defined what it means to forgive. He waited not for an apology. He waited not for repentance or remorse. He said, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."

Ralph L said...

The Episcopalians used a different tune. You wouldn't expect them to use an Irish Catholic one?

Mark said...

The Book of Acts is full of stories that are inconvenient in various ways to Christian theology

Not if you have a correct conception of theology. As for Stephen, Jesus Himself said that, "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you."

narciso said...

well the current pontiff isn't keen on it, he doesn't think proselytizing is important,

traditionalguy said...

Luke was quite a writer. He says Stephen just kept on telling the crowd what God wanted them to hear. So they plugged their ears, rioted and stoned him. At the end Stephen shouts out that he sees Jesus Standing at the right hand of God, and then his spirit leaves him.

That's pretty dramatic stuff . NB: that Stephen's courage actually impressed Jesus so much that The King of Kings got up off his throne to welcome Stephen into heaven.

Roughcoat said...

The Episcopalians used a different tune.

It's my understanding that Heber's original 1812 lyrics were sung to The Minstrel Boy/The Moreen tune, and that Cutler wrote a new tune (All Saints New) in 1872 which was adopted by the Episcopalians -- probably because they wanted to do away entirely with the Catholic version.

As for for You wouldn't expect them to use an Irish Catholic one?:

Well, the Prots ripped off our religion, so it naturally follows that they would rip off our music.

Unknown said...

Now is the time past believing.

The 11

Guildofcannonballs said...

"At the memorial union in Madison. Catching a bus to o’hare. Later Wisconsin."

God bless WI and your family.

How could your judgement allow this bus thing? Is it a sex thing?? One of the only things I know, as a short-wearing socks-and-flip-flops guy, is only losers ride the bus from Chicago to Madison. I did it once and then flew to Milwaukee or Madison now with Frontier, the best of the best of the best airlines for the consumer.

The money (extra) to not go to Chicago and board a bus is minuscule if your time has any meaning of worth.

Well, in a way I guess I hope you hook up, because logically that would make sense. As a believer, I can't feel that way though. I hope your trip back showed you you hate more than anyone you encountered, because it's probably true. And then you will find God loves you as much as anyone. And be nicer. And smarter. And supportive of decency and all good things, except like everyone else when you're not.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Now is the time past believing.

The 11

12/26/19, 6:21 PM"

Yes and now we touche believe again.