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St. Dorothy

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Saint Dorothy

Virgin & Martyr

Dorothy was a young Christian virgin of Caesarea, the capital of Cappadocia. Near the end of the Diocletian persecution, in the early 4th century, Dorothy was arrested and handed over to her apostate sisters, Chrysta and Callista. Instead of imitating them, Dorothy brought her sisters back to Christ, and they underwent their own martyrdom, burnt to death in a great cauldron. Dorothy rejoiced as she was tortured on the rack, scorched by flames and flogged with palm branches. As she was finally taken away for beheading, a Roman official named Theophilus laughed, and asked her to send him roses and apples from the paradise she hoped to reach. Dorothy agreed with a smile, and went to her martyrdom, still rejoicing. As Theophilus joked with his friends about the exchange, a small boy approached, and presented him with three perfect apples and three beautiful roses—heavenly gifts from Dorothy, in frosty February. The astounded Theophilus professed the truth of Christ as God, and today shares his feast with Dorothy as a fellow Christian martyr. For the miracle, Dorothy is hailed as a patroness of gardeners.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for February 6th

Festival of St. Titus, bishop and confessor.

At Caesarea, in Cappadocia, the birthday of St. Dorothy, virgin and martyr, who was stretched on the rack, then a long time scourged with boughs of the palm-tree, and finally condemned to capital punishment, under Sapricius, governor of that province. Her noble confession of Christ converted a lawyer named Theophilus, who was also tortured in a barbarous manner, and finally put to death by the sword.

The same day, the holy martyrs Saturninus, Theophilus, and Revocata.

At Emesa, in Phoenicia, in the time of the emperor Maximian, St. Silvanus, bishop, who, after having governed that church forty years, was delivered to the beasts with two other Christians, and having his limbs all mangled, received the palm of martyrdom.

At Clermont, in Auvergne, St. Antholian, martyr.

The same day, the holy bishops Vedastus and Amandus, who were illustrious by many miracles, both in life and death. The former governed the church of Arras, the latter that of Maestricht.

At Bologna, St. Guarinus, bishop of Palestrina and Cardinal, renowned for holiness of life.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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