Happy Holidays. Today's the big day -- that one day we eagerly await as soon as the Halloween decorations are taken down -- the Feast of Stephen or Boxing Day or Wren Day.
St. Stephen lived in the first century and was stoned to death c. 34 AD by a mob led by Paul (when he was still Saul). In Acts it says:
Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, "We have heard Stephen speak words of
blasphemy against Moses and against God." So they stirred up the people and the elders and the
teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. For we have heard
him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed
down to us."
Since Stephen was the first martyr, he's referred to as a protomartyr which is a word we only get to use once a year.
"Good King Wenceslas" is the one, certified banger/club carol of St. Stephen's Day. The tune was originally written for the song, "Tempus Adest Floridum" ("It is time for flowering"), a 13th-century spring carol first published in 1582's Swede/Finn co-production, Piae Cantiones.