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Help: Saint Stephens Day

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tremodt 27 Dec 01 - 04:26 PM
Sorcha 27 Dec 01 - 04:59 PM
mousethief 27 Dec 01 - 06:44 PM
GUEST 27 Dec 01 - 06:51 PM
GUEST 27 Dec 01 - 06:54 PM
Liz the Squeak 27 Dec 01 - 06:57 PM
GUEST 27 Dec 01 - 07:05 PM
Liz the Squeak 27 Dec 01 - 07:15 PM
GUEST 27 Dec 01 - 07:18 PM
GUEST,Desdemona 27 Dec 01 - 07:39 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 01 - 06:30 PM
Liz the Squeak 28 Dec 01 - 07:03 PM
toadfrog 28 Dec 01 - 09:30 PM
Sorcha 28 Dec 01 - 11:16 PM
Kaleea 28 Dec 01 - 11:56 PM
Liz the Squeak 29 Dec 01 - 05:55 PM
GUEST 29 Dec 01 - 11:00 PM
GUEST 29 Dec 01 - 11:11 PM
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Subject: Saint Stephens Day
From: tremodt
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 04:26 PM

can any one please tell me to origin of St. Sthephens Day

who and why thanks My grandson asked me

ro1sin


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: Sorcha
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 04:59 PM

First, go up to the white search box on the main forum page called Digital Tradition and Forum Search (also known as SuperSearch) Type in St. Stephens Day. There are several threads which discuss "wrenning". Then, Click here to find out about St. Stephen. Folklore is that the wren cheeped and gave away Stephen's hiding place so wrenning was started.


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: mousethief
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 06:44 PM

St. Stephen was the first Christian martyr (cf. Acts chapters 6 and 7). Thus his day is the "first" after Christmas. It's that simple, really.

As to when Saints started having special days, I can't say. Perhaps the Catholic Encyclopedia is the best place to look for an answer to that question.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 06:51 PM

Wow! I haven't referenced Catholic Online in ages, yet here I am, doing it twice in one day!

Here is the story of St. Stephen:

http://saints.catholic.org/saints/stephen.html


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 06:54 PM

I'm on a roll now--here is this, from the Catholic Online Saints FAQ:

When did the Church start honoring saints?

By the year 100 A.D., Christians were honoring other Christians who had died, and asking for their intercession. Many people think that honoring saints was something the Church set up later, but it was part of Christianity from the very beginning. As a matter of fact, this practice came from a long-standing tradition in the Jewish faith of honoring prophets and holy people with shrines. The first saints were martyrs, people who had given up their lives for the Faith in the persecution of Christians. (top of the page)


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 06:57 PM

He was supposed to have been stoned whilst a young man named Saul stood by and held the cloaks of the stoners. Saul went on to be a persecutor of the followers of Christ until his own conversion on the Damascus road.....

The wrens were supposed to have been woken from their winter sleep when Stephen hid in the bushes, their noise brought the soldiers and that's why they were considered not nice birds.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 07:05 PM

So Liz, is that why he is the patron saint of stonemasons do you suppose? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 07:15 PM

Ouch!

I prefer St Nicholas. Patron saint of small boys, pawnbrokers, and prostitutes amongst many! What a selection!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 07:18 PM

I always preferred St Nicholas too!

BTW, a simple google search turned up tons of info. A good description of the day is at North of Boston Library something or others website:

http://www.noblenet.org/year/tty12sts.htm


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 27 Dec 01 - 07:39 PM

Actually, isn't that small, murdered, pickled boys for St Nicholas?!

Another thing that got started to help a (mostly) illiterate public recognise various saints was by their attributes, their means of martyrdom: thus, St Sebastian by his arrows, Catherine's wheel, something about St Barbara's head (!) I seem to remember, etc.

There are several great carols for St Stephen's Day, too.


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 01 - 06:30 PM

The best carol for St. Stephen, of course, is Good King Wenceslaus.


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 28 Dec 01 - 07:03 PM

Ah, be careful - are you sure they are for St Stephen's day and not Holy Innocents? Some calendars have them the same day, but they should be consecutive. Holy Innocents remembers the children put to death by Herod (and giving pretty good proof that it took the "wise men" 2 years to get there. Why else would Herod want all children of 2 and under slain? Well, I can give you several reasons, but he was after one particular child, and wholesale slaughter of all those around the right age group seemed like a good idea at the time.....), and got extended to include the first martyrs.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: toadfrog
Date: 28 Dec 01 - 09:30 PM

Hungary was known as the "Crown of Saint Stephen." Does anyone know how that came about, or whether it is the same Stephen?

(The Kingdom of Bohemia, with Moravia and Silesia, was the "Crown of Wenceslas.") I believe Wenceslas was the King who converted all the people of Bohemia to Christianity. If I'm wrong, someone set me straight.


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: Sorcha
Date: 28 Dec 01 - 11:16 PM

Thread Creep Alert!!
Liz, that almost sounds like the part of the Arthur cycle that has Arthur killing all the children to try to kill Mo(r)dred; his son by his half sister.......


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: Kaleea
Date: 28 Dec 01 - 11:56 PM

And now for an aside: Although both my parents were raised not Catholic, but Baptist, and we attended that same Protestant church, when my little brother was born on Dec. 26, they named him Stephen. The irony marches on inasmuchas my brothers & I are half Irish (which half? the blarney half, of course!) & grew up in Irish music, & I have often performed the "St. Stephens' Day Murders" in ceili bands.


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 29 Dec 01 - 05:55 PM

It may be older than Arthur - read St Luke's gospel... and St Matthew's... John has a bit too, as does Marks......

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 01 - 11:00 PM

toadfrog,

Different Stephen, according to Catholic Online's saints page. Here is yours:

St. Stephen the Great b.977 d.1038 Feastday: August 16 Patron of Hungary

St. Stephen the Great (977-1038), was the son of the Magyar chieftain Geza, Stephen succeeded him as leader in 997. Already raised a Christian, in 996 he wed the daughter of Duke Henry II of Bavaria and devoted much of his reign to the promotion of the Christian faith. He gave his patronage to Church leaders, helped build churches, and was a proponent of the rights of the Holy See. Stephen also crushed the pagan counterreaction to Christianity, forcibly converting the so-called Black Hungarians after their failed rebellion. In recognition of his efforts, Stephen was anoited king of Hungary in 1000, receiving the cross and crown from Pope Sylvester II. The remainder of his reign was taken up with the consolidation of the Christian hold on the region. His crown and regalia became beloved symbols of the Hungarian nation, and Stephen was venerated as the ideal Christian king. Canonized in 1083 by Pope St. Gregory VII, he became the patron saint of Hungary.

©2000 Catholic Online. All Rights Reserved.


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Subject: RE: Help: Saint Stephens Day
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 01 - 11:11 PM

But perhaps the more interesting info on that good boy Wenceslas can be gleaned from Radio Prague's virtual history website. At least this explains the grand relationship between Prague and Rome, eh?:

At the end of the ninth century in Bohemia, the Przemyslid family succeeded in laying the foundations of a Czech state. They did this by ridding themselves of all of the things that were standing in their way, like the Slavnik clan - which the Przemyslids murdered in a particularly bloody manner. You needn't feel too bad for the Slavnik clan, though, as they'd gotten rid of their rivals in the Vrsovec clan using very similar methods just a little while before. That's the real story of how the Przemyslids came to power - the legend of Libuse and Przemysl Plowman tells it differently, of course.

The Przemyslid rulers were a mixed bag, at least at the start of their reign in Bohemia. Wenceslas I, the fourth Przemyslid Czech ruler, was made a saint soon after his murder in 929 or 935. This Wenceslas (in Czech, Vaclav) is the Good King Wenceslas of the Christmas carol, and it was during his reign that the Czech lands entered into an alliance with Saxony, thereby laying the foundations for closer relations with the restored Roman Empire. He was killed by his brother, who wasn't very good - in fact he is known as "Boleslav the Cruel." Boleslav was a pagan, and he felt that Wenceslas was frittering away too much time with this new Christian fashion he'd picked up and also didn't like the alliance his brother had entered into with Saxony. Boleslav and Wenceslas' Grandmother (on their father's side) was also murdered, and also made a saint. It is said that she was either smothered to death with a pillow or choked to death by her daughter-in-law, Boleslav and Wenceslas' mother. Things didn't get much better within the Przemyslid family, and the last Przemyslid ruler, Wenceslas III, was also (probably) murdered. The Przemyslids are remembered well in the Czech Republic today, though, as most people are not aware of the family's murderous streak.

Well, the power of Bohemia under the Przemyslid dynasty increased, prompting expansionist ambitions typical of the early feudal empires. The Przemyslids gained possession of Moravia and Silesia, as well as the upper reaches of the river Vistula and parts of western Slovakia. In Moravia, they set up a system of dukedoms, and Bohemia and Moravia were regarded as hereditary lands of the Przemyslid dynasty. The expansion of the Przemyslid Dynasty's power went hand in hand with the spread of Christianity in the region.

The Przemyslid state maintained its sovereignty, though it formally recognized the feudal supremacy of the Roman-German Empire. The Czech lands ranked among the most advanced of the European feudal states, and weilded considerable influence over the surrounding territory. Evidence of its growing importance was the granting of a royal crown in the eleventh century (made hereditary in 1212 by the Golden Sicilian Bull) and the granting of the title of 'emperor' for Czech rulers.


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