Originally Posted by Ron Conte
I've never heard that explanation before, and it does not seem theologically sound to me. Although the figure of a soldier for Christ is used by the Church, it is not the basis for explaining martyrdom. The ordering of the events remembered by the liturgical calendar is not necessarily chronological. Each liturgical year cannot properly space all the events from the life of Christ and from the early Church. So there may not be a strict logical reason for placing the feast on that day.
Here is a plausible reason maybe: (taken from http://www.penitents.org/sisco08Dec26.htm
It is very appropriate that we celebrate the feast of Saint Stephen the Church’s first martyr always the day after Christmas.
On Christmas, we celebrated that our God took on human life so we might someday share His divine life in heaven. And on St. Stephen’s Day, we see what the consequences of embracing that divine life might be. Celebrating the martyrdom of Saint Stephen reminds us that being a follower of Christ means we will be hated, means we will have to suffer. Martyrdom is evil in that an innocent life is being destroyed, but it is good as it leads us to glorify God in our bodies, so others may see and believe. Martyrdom is the highest form of praising God, as long as the reason we are being persecuted is because of the name of Jesus, and not because we’ve done something to antagonize the persecution. Now you don’t necessarily have to die to be a martyr. To be an everyday martyr we must be willing to lay ourselves down for the Lord. That means we must be willing to witness to the Lord with our actions.