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