Saint of the Day – 6 February – St Dorothy of Caesarea (Died 311) Virgin, Martyr

Saint of the Day – 6 February – St Dorothy of Caesarea (died 311) – Virgin, Martyr – also known as Dora, Dorothea – Patronages – horticulture, brewers, brides, florists, gardeners, midwives, newlyweds, love, Pescia in Italy.  Franz_Ittenbach_Hl_Dorothea.jpg

St Dorothy is a 4th-century virgin martyr who was executed at Caesarea Mazaca. Evidence for her actual historical existence or acta is very sparse.   She is called a martyr of the Diocletianic Persecution, although her death occurred after the resignation of Diocletian himself.   She should not be confused with another 4th-century saint, Dorothea of Alexandria.   She and St Theophilus the Lawyer are mentioned in the Roman Martyrology as martyrs of Caesarea in Cappadocia, with a feast day on 6 February.   She is thus officially recognised as a saint but because there is scarcely any non-legendary knowledge about her, she is no longer (since 1969) included in the General Roman Calendar.

St Dorothy and the Child by Edward Burne Jones

St Dorothy was a young virgin, celebrated at Cæsarea, where she lived, for her angelic virtue.   Her parents seem to have been martyred before her in the Diocletian persecution and when the Governor Sapricius came to Cæsarea he called her before him and sent this child of martyrs to the home where they were waiting for her.

She was stretched upon the rack and offered marriage if she would consent to sacrifice, or death if she refused.   But she replied that “Christ was her only Spouse and death her desire.”   She was then placed in charge of two women who had fallen away from the faith, in the hope that they might pervert her but the fire of her own heart rekindled the flame in theirs and led them back to Christ.

St Dorothy by Francisco de Zubaran

When she was set once more on the rack, Sapricius himself was amazed at the heavenly look she wore and asked her the cause of her joy.   “Because,” she said, “I have brought back two souls to Christ and because I shall soon be in heaven rejoicing with the angels.”

Her joy grew as she was buffeted in the face and her sides burned with plates of red-hot iron.   “Blessed be Thou,” she cried, when she was sentenced to be beheaded,-“blessed be Thou, O Thou Lover of souls!   Who dost call me to Paradise and invitest me to Thy nuptial chamber.”

St Dorothy by Lucas Cranach the Elder

St Dorothy suffered in the dead of winter and it is said that on the road to her passion a lawyer called Theophilus, who had been used to calumniate and persecute the Christians, asked her, in mockery, to send him “apples or roses from the garden of her Spouse.”

The Saint promised to grant his request and, just before she died, a little child stood by her side bearing three apples and three roses.   She bade him take them to Theophilus and tell him this was the present which he sought from the garden of her Spouse.  Santa_Dorotea_e_Teofilo_E.jpg

St Dorothy had gone to heaven and Theophilus was still making merry over his challenge to the Saint when the child entered his room.   He saw that the child was an angel in disguise and the fruit and flowers of no earthly growth.   He was converted to the faith and then shared in the martyrdom of St Dorothy.

St Dorothy by Girolamo Donnini

She is regarded as the patroness of gardeners.   On her feast trees are blessed in some places.


Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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