The first martyr fixed starlit eyes on God

The first martyr fixed starlit eyes on God,
his mind upright, unstained; yet he prayed on
also since--while each stone struck hard, left dents
as arrows pierce skin--Paul stood near, watched him

die, and he'd beat his enemies at last;
and as the stones rained, thudded upon him,
a curtain was drawn back across the sky,
and he found himself near the splendor of

paradise, knew more joy, more eagerness,
this chosen man. Like the mother who loved
her son, he prayed for evil men, never

begged for mercy, spoke love. No greedy man
ever prized brilliant polished jewels as he
that rock which struck him in his deep heart's core.

An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition
From V C:260. See also B S1:119:144; MS Ve2 (V2); Valgrisi 120. A sonnet on St. Stephen. Reference: Acts 6-7; Jacobus de Voragine, Golden Legend, "the first Christian martyr" stone to death whose face looked "liked the face of an angel" when he faced his accusers. Key

Amaro Lagrimar
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Page Last Updated 6 January 2003