SAINT OF THE DAY: 06 FEBRUARY, 2015

Saint Dorothy

Virgin and Martyr
(† 304)

Saint Dorothy

Saint Dorothy was a young virgin celebrated already in Caesarea of Cappadocia, where she lived, for her angelic virtue. Her parents are believed to have been martyred before her in the Diocletian persecution; thus, when the Governor Sapricius came to Caesarea and called her to appear before him, he sent this child of martyrs to the eternal home where they were waiting for her.

She explained that the God she adored was majestic — above all emperors, who were mortal, and their gods, none of whom created either heaven or earth.

She was stretched upon the rack, and offered honors if she would consent to sacrifice, or death if she refused. And they waited. She asked why they delayed to torture her; they were expecting she might cede out of fright.

She said to them, Do what you have to do, that I may see the One for whose love I fear neither death nor torments, Jesus Christ.

She was asked, Where is this Christ? and she replied: As Almighty He is everywhere, but for weak human reason we say that the Son of God has ascended into heaven, to be seated at the right hand of the Almighty Father. It is He who invites us to the garden of His delights, where at all times the trees are covered with fruits, the lilies are perpetually white, the roses ever in their freshness. If you believe me, you too will search for the true liberty, and will labor to earn entry into the garden of God’s delights.

She was then placed in the custody of two women who had fallen away from the faith, in the hope that they might pervert her; but the fire of her own heart rekindled the flame in theirs, and led them back to Christ.

When she was set once more on the rack, Sapricius himself was amazed at the heavenly expression on her face, and asked her the cause of her joy.

Because, she said, I have brought back two souls to Christ, and because I shall soon be in heaven rejoicing with the Angels.

Her joy grew as she was buffeted in the face and her sides were burned with plates of red-hot iron.

Blessed art Thou, she cried, when she was sentenced to be beheaded, Blessed art Thou, O Lover of souls, who call me to paradise, and invite me to Thy nuptial chamber!

Saint Dorothy suffered in mid-winter, and on the road to her execution a lawyer called Theophilus, who had grown accustomed to calumniating and persecuting the Christians, asked her, in mockery, to send him apples or roses from the garden of her Spouse.

The Saint promised to grant his request.

Just before she died, a little child stood by her side bearing three apples and three roses.

She told him to take them to Theophilus, and to tell him it was the present he sought from the garden of her Spouse.

Saint Dorothy had gone to heaven, and Theophilus was still making merry over his challenge to her, when the child entered his room.

He recognized that the fruit and flowers were of no earthly growth, and that the child was an Angel in disguise.

He was converted to the faith, and then shared in the martyrdom of Saint Dorothy.

(SOURCE: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 2)

READING OF THE DAY: 06 FEBRUARY, 2015

baptist1

“King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, «John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; That is why mighty powers are at work in him.»

Others were saying, “He is Elijah”; still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.”

But when Herod learned of it, he said, “It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.”

Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.

John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.

Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody.

When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him.

She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.

Herodias’s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.

The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”

He even swore (many things) to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.”

She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”

The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”

The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her.

So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison.

He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.

The girl in turn gave it to her mother.

When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.” -Mark 6:14-29.