Saturday, 26 December 2020

boxing day

Probably an epithet meaning “the crowned one” rather than an actual given name (compare to Saint Corona), this second Christmas marks Saint Stephen’s Day, venerated as the protomartyr (*1-†36) of the Christian faith, the early bishop of Jerusalem stoned to death (lapidation) for his blasphemy against the Sanhedrin, which was witnessed by Saul called Paul whom subsequently spread his sacrifice and steadfastness. As possibly a painful reminder, Stephen’s patronage includes bricklayers and is invoked against headaches. Further as responsible for the distribution of alms for the poor in his office, Stephen’s feast day became associated with opening the charity boxes and donating gratuities to service people and the needy, but aligned with—sometimes supplanted by Black Friday (it took off when the US and Canadian dollars reached parity), in many Commonwealth nations, it has become a day with emphasis on shopping and sales.