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The Icon of the Crucifixion “Between the Two Thieves,” written in 1711 by Ioannis Moskos, is a multifaceted composition based on western works. In this portion of the icon the great cross with the Crucified is projected at golden depth, while black clouds are spread out around it. St. Dismas, on the left, is crowned by a flying angel, after being promised entrance into Paradise by the Lord. (Public Domain/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Feast of Saint Dismas

(1st c.)

St. Dismas is the name Church tradition has given to the “Good Thief,” one of the two criminals who were crucified alongside Jesus Christ on Good Friday.  All we know about St. Dismas is what is mentioned of him in the Gospels: “Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.’ The other [St. Dismas] however, rebuking him, said in reply, ‘Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.'” Then St. Dismas, as an expression of his faith in Christ as the Messiah, said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied to St. Dismas, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:39-42).

St. Dismas is the Patron of prisoners, funeral directors, and repentant thieves.

His feast day is March 25.

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Dismas and Christ

Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Saint Dismas on the cross; Luke 23:42

Saint Dismas teaches us to have hope and faith in God, regardless of our past life. Considering the life and death of Saint Dismas, Saint John Chrysostom writes that, “no one after his sins might despair of entrance” into Paradise. No one—not you, not me, not any soul in this world—is beyond being carried into Paradise in the arms of Jesus.”

John Clark, National Catholic Register, “What Can We Learn From Thieves on Crosses” 

Saint Dismas, Penitent Thief, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family, pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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