A police forensic team is investigating the desecration of a cemetery near Jerusalem associated with Saint Stephen. Salesian Father Antonio Scudo of the Salesian monastery at the Beit Jimal monastery told The Jerusalem Post on October 18 that monks discovered the vandalism four days earlier.
As reported by jpost.com, Father Scudo said, “The monks found the tombstones toppled and tombs smashed. The crosses are made of concrete. That means they pushed them over with a lot of force. In recent the city has witnessed repeated vandalism.”
The grave is situated south of Beit Shemesh, a city located around 30 km west of Jerusalem in Israel’s Jerusalem District. It is a popular pilgrimage and tourism site. Archaeologists identify Beit Jimal as the village of Rabban Gamaliel the Elder, a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the early 1st century and the grandson of the Mishnaic sage Hillel. St. Stephen, a disciple of Jesus who was stoned to death by the Sanhedrin, is believed to be buried in a cave at the monastery.