Dismas

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Saint Dismas is the traditional name given to the "good thief" (criminal) who was crucified at the side of Jesus Christ. Dismas stood up for Jesus when He was insulted by the other criminal (traditionally known as Gestas) and asked that Jesus remember him when he went into his kingdom. Christ promised Dismas passage to paradise based on his faith.[1][2][3]

The experience of Dismas shows the unlimited power of forgiveness by God for those who request it. It is a reminder of the saving grace of God for those who have faith and repent.

Catholic tradition

In Catholic tradition Dismas is believed to have had a previous meeting with our Lord on the Holy Family's flight to Egypt. It is said that Dismas was very sick and the Blessed Virgin bathed him in the same water as the Holy Child and Dismas was healed. This story may be a foreshadowing of how Jesus would heal Dismas' soul before his death so that he could enjoy eternal life.

Dismas is the patron saint for those condemned to death. His feast day is March 25, though it gains him no particular recognition as the important feast of the Annunciation falls upon the same day.

A relic held at the Church of Santa Croce in Rome is by tradition a portion of the cross on which Dismas was crucified.

Dismas is one of the Penitent Saints.

References

  1. Matthew 27:38-44 (KJV)
  2. Mark 15:27-32 (KJV)
  3. Luke 23:39-43 (KJV)
St. Dismas, http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=114

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