On Martyrs: Dorothy Day


I trust that someday soon the Catholic Church will decalre Dorothy Day a saint (even though she did not like being called a saint). Dorothy is a saint to whom I can relate.

The first part of Dorothy Day’s life is the story of a lost soul — alcohol abuse, an abortion, suicide attempts, another child out of wedlock. But then Dorothy found a center for herself and converted to Catholicism.

Even in her “lost years” Dorothy was drawn to help the poor. After her conversion she and Peter Maurin founded the Catholic Worker movement, opening homes to the marginalized, offering meals to the starving. Catholic Worker homes can be found throughout the United States to this day.

Dorothy also became a prolific writer, in part through her newspaper. But, more than anything else, she became a Christ-like presence in our midst. Dorothy lived the Christian message. She ministered to the poor. She marched for peace. She tried to love her enemies.

Dorothy was persecuted. She was imprisoned for her beliefs more than a few times and at times her own Church tried to silence her. She was even shot at as she worked for civil rights. She welcomed all such experiences as yet more opportunities to live as Christ lived. She would have liked the song “Rebel Jesus”.

Further reading: All is Grace by Jim Forest

Further Viewing: Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story


About richp45198

I am a clinical psychologist and have an abiding interest in matters spiritual.
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4 Responses to On Martyrs: Dorothy Day

  1. Kathy McGrane says:

    Read her diaries, The Duty of Delight, last year. Very inspiring seeing her in all her humanity and all her greatness. Incredible faith.

  2. Susan says:

    Back in the day when wars were fought on “front lines” (WW II and Korean War), the opposing sides advanced toward the enemy using heavy artillery and sometimes hand-to-hand combat. My father, who was not a Catholic, told me that the Catholic Chaplains went to the front lines with the soldiers. This was not a requirement for them. They coud have stayed safe and warm, but they went to the “front” in order to comfort the dying and assist the wounded. I don’t know how many of those priests were themselves wounded, captured, or killed but some must have been. They were martyrs and now, I assume, Angels.

  3. richp45198 says:

    Reblogged this on Psyche and Spirit/Richard B. Patterson PhD and commented:

    I wanted to repost this in memory of Clare Mummert, a beautiful spiritual woman here in El Paso whose godmother was Dorothy Day

  4. Susan Bass says:

    She is indeed an inspiration especially to those of us who have “lost” years. It is also a reminder to me that I need to fan the fire of spirituality in my son. It was Victor Frankl who said that faith is like a fire. Big storms will put out a small fire but in the case of a a big fire, huge wind and storms only make it bigger.

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