ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
In those days, as the number of disciples grew, the so-called Hellenists complained against the so-called Hebrews, because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve summoned the whole body of disciples together and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God to serve at tables.
choose from among yourselves seven respected men full of Spirit and wisdom, that we may appoint them to this task.
As for us, we shall give ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.”
The whole community agreed and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and Holy Spirit;
Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenus and Nicolaus of Antioch who was a proselyte.
They presented these men to the apostles who first prayed over them and then laid hands upon them.
The Word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly and even many priests accepted the faith.
Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.
Some persons then came forward, who belonged to the so-called Synagogue of Freedom from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia and Asia.
They argued with Stephen but they could not match the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.
As they were unable to face the truth, they bribed some men to say,
“We heard him speak against Moses and against God.”
So they stirred up the people, the elders and the teachers of the Law; they took him by surprise, seized him and brought him before the Council.
Then they produced false witnesses who said,
“This man never stops speaking against our Holy Place and the Law.
We even heard him say that Jesus the Nazarean will destroy our Holy Place and change the customs which Moses handed down to us.”
And all who sat in the Council fixed their eyes on him, and his face appeared to them like the face of an angel.