Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmastide 2016: The Second Day

On this Second Day of Christmastide, the Christian world in the west celebrates its first martyr, Saint Stephen.

St. Stephen detail, Demidoff Altarpiece                                      Carlo Crevelli, 1476

File:Paolo Uccello - Stoning of St Stephen - WGA23196.jpg
Stoning of St. Stephen                                                          Paolo Ocello, ca. 1435

His death in the name of charity has led this day to be associated with the distribution of food and other essentials to those in need. A thousand years later stories about the life and death of another generous Christian, Wenceslas of Czechoslovakia, would eventually lead to the writing of a mid-19th century Christmas carol that forever links the two martyrs.


Photos and Illustrations:
Demidoff Altarpiece, The National Gallery, London
Stoning,, painting is in the Duomo di Prato. Italy

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