Saint Stephen suffered during the iconoclasm of Emperor Leo the Isaurian (716-41). He defended the veneration of icons, and for this he was put on trial and imprisoned.
In prison, he and over 300 other defenders of the icons organized a monastic community and chanted the divine services every day. When the emperor discovered Saint Stephen was running a monastery in his prison, he ordered a pair of soldiers to go and beat the saint to death. When they came to the prison, they saw Saint Stephen's face shining with the uncreated light, and they fell down in fear, asking for forgiveness.
When the emperor learned the saint was still alive, he sent more soldiers. Saint Stephen gave himself up willingly and was beaten and killed. The next day, a fiery cloud appeared on Mount Auxentius and heavy hail fell on Constantinople, killing many people.
Saint Stephen's feast is celebrated on November 28.
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