26-December-2012 -- Vatican Information Service |

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St. Stephen, Model Of New Evangelisation

Vatican City, 26 December 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, Feast of St. Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.

The Pope explained that in the Acts of the Apostles St. Stephen is portrayed as a "man filled with grace and the Holy Spirit; in him we find the fulfilment of Jesus' promise ... that the believers called to bear witness in difficult and dangerous circumstances will not be abandoned or left defenceless: the Spirit of God will speak within them. Indeed, the deacon Stephen was inspired by the Holy Spirit as he worked, spoke and died, bearing witness to the love of Christ even to the point of the most extreme sacrifice... Filled with the Holy Spirit, just before his eyes were dimmed forever, he turned his gaze upon 'Jesus standing at the right side of God', the Lord of all, who draws all to Him ... Allowing ourselves to be drawn to Christ, like St. Stephen, means opening our lives to the light that calls, guides and makes us follow the path of good, the path of humanity according to God's loving plan".

St. Stephen is, furthermore, "a model for all those who wish to serve the new evangelisation", continued the Holy Father. "He demonstrates that the newness of proclamation does not consist primarily in the use of original methods or techniques, although these are certainly useful, but rather relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and on allowing ourselves to be guided by Him. The newness of proclamation resides in profound immersion in the mystery of Christ, in the assimilation of His Word and His presence in the Eucharist, so that He, the living Christ, might speak and act through His envoy. In essence, the evangeliser becomes capable of effectively bringing Christ to others when he lives the life of Christ, when the newness of the Gospel is made manifest in his own life. We pray to the Virgin Mary that the Church, in this Year of Faith, might see more men and women who, like St. Stephen, are able to bear convinced and courageous witness to the Lord Jesus".

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