This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6 -- Feast of Saint Dorothea of Caesarea

What was it about Roman patricians, especially those holding magisterial offices, and Christian girls?  Didn't anyone ever want to marry a nice polytheistic girl who devoted herself to the cult of Venus?  Or were all the Roman girls taught to love Minerva? 

Poor little Dorothy caught the eye of a Roman prefect named Sapricius sometime around AD 311. It was the usual story: marry me or I will scourge and kill you.  As Saint Dorothy was being marched off to the execution grounds to lose her head, she testified that she would soon be welcomed by her bridegroom, Jesus. 

With a name like Theophilus Scholasticus, you'd think a fella would be smart enough to keep his mouth shut in a situation like that.  But no, he stood by the road jeering at the little Christian girl. It takes a brave man to shout at a little girl in chains when she's being perp-walked by a squad of legionnaires.  Brave indeed, and clever: "If Jesus is your bridegroom, why doesn't he bring you fruit and flowers?"

Well, the angels had reached the breaking point.  One of them grabbed a basket, put three apples and three roses in it, and descended straight to the point where Theophilus and Dorothy were standing.  After a lifetime of calling on Jupiter and Mercury to no avail, Theo had called out Jesus just once and gotten a response.  As the Monkees used to sing, "Now I'm a Believer."

Saint Theophilus and Saint Dorothea were beheaded on February 6, 311, in Caesarea, Cappadocia [Turkey].  An artist named Natalie Ewert has a great retelling and portrait of Dorothea at this site, but in a rare moment of scruple, I decided not to rip off her portrait and plunk it into my post. 

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