The Feast of St. Stephen
A Sermon of Saint Fulgentius the Bishop.

Yesterday we celebrated the temporal birthday of our eternal King: today we celebrate the triumphal suffering of his soldier. For yesterday our King, clothed with a mantle of flesh, coming forth from the hall of a virginal womb, vouchsafed to visit the world: today the soldier exiting the tabernacle of the body, entered into heaven a conqueror. The former, keeping the majesty of the eternal Godhead, assuming a servile belt of flesh, entered the field of this world to fight; the latter, having laid aside the corruptible garments of the body, eternally ascended to the palace of heaven to reign. The former descended veiled in flesh, the latter ascended crowned in blood. The latter ascended with the stoning Jews, because the former descended with the rejoicing Angels. Glory to God in the highest, the holy Angels rejoicing chanted yesterday: today rejoicing they have received Stephen into their company. Yesterday the Lord exited from the womb of the Virgin: today the soldier came forth from a prison of flesh. Yesterday Christ wrapped in swaddling clothes for us: today Stephen is clothed by him with the stole of immortality. Yesterday the narrow manger carried the infant Christ: today the immensity of heaven received Stephen triumphant. The Lord descended alone, that he might elevate many: our King humbled himself, that his soldiers might be exalted. It is nevertheless necessary for us, brethren, to recognize, by what weapons Stephen girded could conquer the savagery of the Jews, so that he happily merited to triumph. Stephen therefore, that he might merit to accept the crown of his name, had charity for weapons, and through them conquered everywhere. Through love of God he yielded not to the savage Jews: through love of neighbour he interceded for those stoning him. Through charity he accused the erring, that they might be corrected: through charity he prayed for those stoning him, lest they be punished. Relying on the virtue of charity, he conquered Saul cruelly raging: and whom he had on earth as a persecutor, merited to have in heaven as a companion.

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The Feast of St. Stephen - by VoxClamantis - 12-26-2017, 01:33 PM
RE: The Feast of St. Stephen - by Paul - 12-26-2017, 01:46 PM

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