Uncovering of the relics of the Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen

During the reign of Saint Constantine the Great (May 21), Saint Stephen appeared three times to a pious old priest named Lukianos and revealed to him the place where his relics had been hidden. He informed Patriarch John of Jerusalem, who went to the designated spot and found the sacred relics of the Holy Protomartyr Stephen.

When the Saint’s relics were discovered, there was a great earthquake and those who were present noticed a beautiful fragrance suffusing the whole area. It is said that angelic voices were heard from Heaven saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will” (Luke 2:14). That is to say, “Glory be to God in the highest places of Heaven, and here on this earth troubled by sin, may divine peace reign; for God has demonstrated His good will toward mankind, by the Incarnation of His Son.”

Thus, the angels made it clear that the Protomartyr Stephen had endured martyrdom for the love and glory of God.

In 415, the relics of Saints Stephen, Gamaliel, and Nicodemus were miraculously discovered and solemnly transferred to Jerusalem by Archbishop John, along with Bishops Eutonius of Sebaste and Eleutherius of Jericho. From that time on, the relics began to work miracles of healing.

Subsequently, in the reign of the holy Emperor Theodosius the Younger (408–450), the relics of the holy Protomartyr Stephen were transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople and placed in the church dedicated to the holy Deacon Laurence (August 10), and were transferred there on August 2, until a church could be built in honor of Saint Stephen.

Saint Stephen’s right hand is kept in the Serapion Chamber of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.