Saint Dismas, the Good Thief

Feast Day: October 12th


The Life of Saint Dismas: Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.”…

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Prayers

Hymn: The Wise Thief didst Thou make worthy of Paradise, in a single moment, O Lord. By the Wood of Thy Cross illumine me as well, and save me.


While travelling to Egypt, Saint Joseph and Our Most Holy Mother of God passed through an area that was infested with robbers. Two robbers named Dismas and Gestas came across to Our Most Holy Mother of God to see what she was holding so closely to her. When Dismas saw the beauty of Baby Christ, he remarked “If God were to take human flesh, He would not be more beautiful than this Child!” Dismas then gave money and his belt to his fellow robber, beseeching him let them pass by in peace. Our Most Holy Mother of God said to Dismas with gratitude “My Child will reward thee richly for having spared Him this day. The Lord God will receive thee to His right hand and grant thee pardon of thy sins.” Thirty three years later, at the Crucifixion of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, it was these two thieves who were crucified on either side of Christ. And that day Dismas the thief became Saint Dismas the first person to enter Paradise with Christ.

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The Most High planted in the middle of Paradise the Thrice Blessed Wood, the Gift of Life for us, in order that, in approaching it, Adam might find Eternal and Immortal Life. But he did not strive earnestly to know this Life, and he failed to attain it, and revealed death. However, the robber, seeing how the plant in Eden had been beautifully transplanted in Golgotha, recognised the Life in it and said to himself: “This is what my father lost formerly in Paradise.” – by Saint Romanos the Melodist


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