Lifelong CatechesisForming Catholic identity across generations
For a large part of the liturgical year, we devote ourselves to listening to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects unfolded as we seek God's truth and understanding.
Dorothy, Virgin and Martyr, c. 303
There is a beautiful story told about St. Dorothy, who was persecuted during the reign of the emperor, Diocletian. The governor of Caesarea, Fabricius, imposed cruel punishments on Dorothy because of her refusal to worship idols or to marry. Dorothy spoke of the garden to which God would take her and the sweet fruits of the garden. The crowning blow for Fabricius occurred when two women, sent to induce Dorothy to give up her faith, were themselves converted. This led to a sentence of execution.
As Dorothy was being led to her execution, a young lawyer in the crowd, Theophilus, jeered at Dorothy and yelled at her to send him fruits when she reached the garden where she was going. Dorothy promised that she would. Just before her execution, Dorothy knelt and prayed. Suddenly an angel appeared with a basket containing three apples and three roses which Dorothy sent to Theophilus, telling him that she would wait for him in the garden. After tasting the fruit, Theophilus became a Christian and, later on, was himself martyred.
Based on the story recounted above, St. Dorothy is depicted in medieval art with flowers and fruit. She is the patroness of brides and of florists and gardeners. This saint is honored on the day of her death, February 6th.
Dorothy’s message today: Dorothy is a witness to the importance of forgiveness, something all of us can imitate today. She forgave the one who callously taunted her, inviting him to share the glories of paradise.