25 March: The Good Thief, St. Dismas

You may have noticed that today is not the Feast of the Annunciation (9 months before Christmas).  Annunciation has been bumped to the first available day after the Easter Octave, this year 8 April.

However, today is the feast day of the “Good Thief”, known by tradition as St. Dismas.

Here is his entry from the Martyrologium Romanum:

2. Commemoratio sancti latronis, qui, in cruce Christum confessus, ab eo meruit audire: “Hodie mecum eris in paradiso”.

Can you imagine, even through that kind of suffering, to hear those words?

“Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Think: Last Rites.

Our Lord gave to us in Holy Church the ordinary means for our salvation.

We have the sacraments and the Church’s teaching on faith and morals.

No matter what sort of sins we have committed, Our Lord is ready for us with unbounded mercy. Holy Church is the refuge of sinners and it is precisely for the likes of us that He came to live and to die. He died between two thieves for company, after all.

Let us show gratitude to the Lord for all His good gifts by using the sacraments well, by hearing and accepting the Church’s teachings, and by upright lives full of good works.


25 March: The Good Thief, St. Dismas
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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, GO TO CONFESSION, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Saints: Stories & Symbols. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to 25 March: The Good Thief, St. Dismas

  1. Catholictothecore says:

    Our Lord suffered greatly so that we would not have to. None of us could ever repay Him for that, ever, we can only love him in return. Went for confession last week. Thanks for the reminder always, Fr. Z.!

  2. VexillaRegis says:

    Thanks for the reminder, I followed your advise this weekend :-) ! (But our pastor begins to look rather tired – and it’s not Easter yet!)

  3. ReginaMarie says:

    Hymn for the Feast of St. Dismas, the Penitent Thief: “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.”

    We Eastern Catholics still celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation today. Since the feast comes on a weekday of Great & Holy Week, the Divine Liturgy of the feast is served in the evening with Vespers. When this happens, the fasting rules for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts are followed. The Divine Liturgy of the Annunciation is the only celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom allowed on a weekday of Great Lent.

    Today is the beginning of our salvation,
    The revelation of the eternal mystery!
    The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
    As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
    Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
    Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
    The Lord is with You!

    O Victorious Leader of Triumphant Hosts!
    We, your servants, delivered from evil, sing our grateful thanks to you, O Theotokos!
    As you possess invincible might, set us free from every calamity
    So that we may sing: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!

  4. Tim Ferguson says:

    my confirmation patron!

  5. Maynardus says:

    Superb analogy! My (convert) wife was talking to a (lapsed, cradle Catholic) friend yesterday whom we are slowly nudging back toward the Faith. She’d never heard of The Divine Mercy and a very interesting discussion ensued. I was looking for a ‘pretext’ to follow up with her and now I have it… “Happy St. Dismas’ Day” “Who?” “Well, since you asked…”

  6. daughter of poor gemma says:

    I would love to go to confession this week, but I can’t find any place to do so near me. My parish has confessions only on Thursday afternoons, which is, of course, canceled this week so the priest can prepare for the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

  7. Prayers going your way, “daughter of poor gemma”. It’s such a terrible feeling when you’d like to go to confession but can’t… :(((

  8. Liam says:

    On this date in 1991, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre died after a brief battle with stomach cancer.

    Requiescat in pace.

    [Requiescat. I pray for him often, as he died in the state of excommunication, poor man. However, this means that this is the same day that when I opening up our office (the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”) because I was the first on in that day, there was a ring of the doorbell and I found it was then-Card. Ratzinger, who gave me the news that Lefebvre had died. He had just received a phone call about his death and stopped at our office on his way in to the Congregation.]

  9. Clinton R. says:

    I live here in Southern California, near San Dimas. May he pray for us. +JMJ+

  10. trespinos says:

    Knowing that the Feast of the Annunciation for the Western Church had been moved to April 8, I was going to wait until then to post this, but thanks to the poster above who informs us that the Eastern Church is indeed observing it today, I hereby offer for your delight, one of the most beautiful performances of a most beautiful song in Our Lady’s honor:


    “Eternal Counsel, Sacred Song for the Feast of the Annunciation, by Pavel Chesnokov”

  11. priests wife says:

    about confession- my oldest sister’s sister-in-law just died very young of lung cancer. She lived at home and her parents and she were very upset with the ‘liberal’ Masses in their area

    – so a ‘conservative’ priest gave them the Eucharist to adore in their home and they didn’t go to Mass at all. (that can’t be right…)

    – She died with no confession or Last Rites because this priest was not in the area once she got really sick…the priests in the liberal parish buried her…I feel like I should pray for the soul of the priest who encouraged their behavior even more than my dead friend

  12. bookworm says:

    Here’s one of my favorite songs ever…. the Second Word (“Hodie”) from Theodore Dubois’ cantata “The Seven Last Words of Christ”:


  13. Robertus Pittsburghensis says:

    So I guess, this year at Christmas our Lord will be born a “premie”, two weeks premature ;)

  14. DetJohn says:

    I will be working at the San Dimas (Spanish for Dismas) L.A. County Sheriff Station, this evening. I’ll bet that no one will know who St. Dimas or Dismas is.

  15. The Sicilian Woman says:

    The Gospel according to St. Luke is my favorite of the four because of the passage about St. Dismas and Christ’s promise to him.

  16. Matt R says:

    Chesterton once wrote a Fr Brown story about a thief in which the priest opined that if one is to be a criminal, then it is far better to be a thief, for only a thief was promised entrance into Paradise.

  17. RosaMystica says:

    I hope this doesn’t mean that Jesus will be overdue this year, arriving around January 8. That might be confusing for the kids.

  18. VexillaRegis says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eby-TuX29l8 Charles Tournemire, Hodie mecum eris in Paradiso.