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Saturday, 28 November 2015

28th November - Stephen the Younger

Stephen the Younger, also known as Stephen the New, was a monk at the monastery of St Auxentius at age fifteen and later, Abbot there. He retired to live as a hermit. Soon after, the iconoclast movement became very active in the area, led by Emperor Constantine. The emperor tried to enlist Stephen in the movement, but the holy hermit refused, and was exiled. Years later he returned, and to prove how important it was to respect icons and other religious art, Stephen went to the emperor, pulled out a coin that bore the emperor’s likeness, threw it onto the floor, and stomped on it; as the emperor understood the importance of his own image, he imprisoned Stephen for 11 months. On his release, Stephen returned to the court and resumed the argument as though nothing has happened. He was scourged, stoned and dragged to death through the streets of Constantinople.

He is patron of coin collectors and smelters.