A native of Borisabos, Cappadocia (eastern Turkey), Stephen was consecrated bishop of Surosh (Sudak), on the Crimean peninsula of the Ukraine. The Byzantine emperor Leo III (717-741), an adherent of the iconoclastic heresy that condemned the use of religious images, exiled Stephen for defending the Churchís teaching regarding the veneration of these holy objects. Leoís successor Constantine V (741-775) reversed his predecessorís iconoclastic policies and restored Stephen to his see. Thereafter Stephen journeyed out from Surosh to evangelize the Slavs, Khazars, and Varangians with great success. An attack force of Varango-Russians that had come to plunder the Crimean peninsula are said to have fled upon seeing the holy bishop, an incident that precipitated the conversion of the raidersí commander, Yury. Stephen has come to be recognized by both the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church as a key figure in the history of Christianity in Russia.
When she was 56, Angela Merici said "No" to the Pope. She was aware that Clement VII was offering her a great honor and a great opportunity to serve when he asked her to take charge of a religious ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
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By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes