Saint Stephen's Day

Bas-relief of St Stephen, Scuola di Santo Stefano, Campo Santo Stefano, Venice
Saint Stephen is traditionally venerated as the protomartyr, or first martyr of Christianity, and today is his feast day. 

Stephen, who was a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem, was accused of blasphemy and stoned to death (c. 34). His death was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, a Jew who would later convert to Christianity, changing his name to Paul. Unsurprisingly, Saint Stephen's main attribute are stones and he has become the patron saint of those who suffer from headaches. 

There is a small bas-relief of the saint, with two stones perched on his head, on the house opposite the church of Santo Stefano.(Some of my younger clients think he looks like Mickey Mouse!)
The Stoning of Saint Stephen, Stuttgart
The building once belonged to the Scuola di Santo Stefano, who commissioned Carpaccio to make five paintings (1511-20) illustrating scenes from the life of Stephen. Sadly, the paintings are now scattered between various Italian and foreign collections. 


  1. Argh! I'm staying right in that campo and have never spotted Saint Mickey! As soon as I get back from cat-sitting in Cannaregio, I'll correct that deficit in my education.


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