St. Paul speaks to the bride of Christ, saying: "My daughter, you compared me to a lion that was raised among wolves but was rescued from them in a wonderful way. I was indeed a greedy wolf, my daughter, but God made a lamb out of the wolf for two reasons. The first was because of his great love, for he makes the vessels of his grace out of unworthy materials, and he makes friends out of sinners. The second was because of the prayers of St. Stephen, the first martyr.
"Let me describe how I was and what I had in mind at Stephen's stoning and why I deserved his prayers. I neither rejoiced nor delighted in St. Stephen's sufferings, nor did I envy his glory. Still I wanted him to die because, to my mind, I did not see him as having the true faith.
"When I saw his immense zeal and his patient endurance of suffering, I grieved terribly over his lack of faith - when in fact he was the truly faithful one and I altogether blind and faithless. Out of compassion for him I prayed and begged with my whole heart that his bitter sufferings might bring him to glory and reward.
"Because of this, his prayers benefited me first of all, for, through them, I was rescued from the many wolves and made into a gentle lamb.
"This is why it is good to pray for everyone, because the prayer of the righteous benefits those who are closer and better prepared to receive grace.
"However, I now complain that this man who spoke so eloquently among the learned and was so patient before those who stoned him has been wholly forgotten in the hearts of many people and especially neglected by those who ought to serve him night and day. They bring him their broken and empty vessels, dirty and disgusting. Therefore, as it is written, they shall be clothed 'in double confusion and shame' and shall be thrown out of the houses of pleasure."