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Saint Stephen was a deacon, preacher and the first Christian martyr. He is the patron saint of deacons and stone masons. About St. Stephen, Pope Francis said, “This young servant of the Gospel, full of the Holy Spirit, knew how to narrate Jesus in words, and above all with his life.”
The Advent and Christmas seasons are rich with symbols including three with which we are the most familiar: The Advent Wreath, Christmas tree and Nativity scene. There are other symbols as well including the Jesse Tree and O Antiphons.
O God, in this season of expectant hope, you call us to prepare a way for your coming. Help us to hear your voice with renewed hope and give us eyes to see what is yet to be. Set our feet upon the path which leads to you and make us a holy and faith filled people. May our conduct be blameless and may the good work you have begun in us be brought to perfection as we prepare for the coming feasts. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Consider sharing your Christmas spirit with others by creating a “Reverse Advent Calendar.” Each day leading up to Christmas, place an item of food, clothing or toiletries that you wish to donate into a box, and once full, bring the box to a charity in need. Alternatively, try to focus on one way each day to spread holiday cheer or pay it forward in the lead up to Christmas.