Stephen was one of the seven deacons chosen by the disciples to take care of the widows and the needy people in Jerusalem (Acts 6:1-5). One day, while he was teaching in the Synagogue, Israelites who disagreed with Stephen argued against him. He was accused of blasphemy, a serious crime. False witnesses later testified against him, Stephen defended himself against the accusations, but his defense made his adversaries even more angry (Acts 7:56). They grabbed him, dragged him out of the city and stoned him to death. Saul - who later became Apostle Paul, was present at the stoning. During the stoning, his final words, a prayer of forgiveness for his attackers (Acts 7:60), echo those of Christ on the cross (Luke 23:34). Stephen became the first Christian martyr, this icon called the Life of Stephen is one of the few surviving icons of Stephen from the Middle Ages.
Source: Cathedral of Assumption, Vladimir
Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia 14th Century