Saint Stephen was one of the first ordained deacons of the Church. He was also the first Christian martyr. The Greek word from which we derive the English word martyr literally means witness. In that sense, every Christian is called to bear witness to Jesus Christ, in both their words and their actions. Not all are asked to shed their blood. Those who do shed their blood for the faith are the greatest of witnesses. They have been especially honored since the very beginning of Christianity. … Excellent content provided by https://www.catholic.org/.