seven deacons

Men elected by the original Christian community at Jerusalem and ordained by the Apostles, their office being chiefly to look after the poor, as the number of believers among the Grecian Jews had rapidly increased and their widows and children were being neglected. The Apostles did not wish to be drawn away from preaching, and thus transferred these material duties to suitable men. They were Saint Stephen the Martyr, Saint Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas (Acts 6).

New Catholic Dictionary

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