Saint Dismas (first century AD)
Patron: reformed thieves/criminals
Feast day: March 25
Dismas is believed to be one of the two thieves between whom Jesus was crucified. He was the “good” or “repentant” thief who appeared remorseful of his sins and asked Jesus to “remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “This very day you will be with me in paradise.” Folklore surrounding Saint Dismas in the Middle Ages alleges that both Dismas and Gestas, the unrepentant thief to Jesus’s left, first met the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary, and her husband Joseph) while they were fleeing from King Herod in Egypt during Christ’s infancy.
Something about the three prompted Dismas to bribe Gestas not to rob them, and it’s believed that the thieves left them alone. This story is based on apocryphal, or noninspired, text, and no evidence exists to corroborate the information. Evidence does exist, however, of the devotion to Saint Dismas: Many reformatories have been named in his honor as an homage to the belief that it’s possible to turn a new leaf and live a better life.
Last updated: March 21, 2013 at 20:19 pm
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