St. Dorothy was named to be the Patron Saint of our Parish and School.
Our story takes place in Cappodocia, in the 4th century. Cappadocia was an important city in Asia Minor, in what is now the country of Turkey.
Dorothy was one of the many Christians who were brought before the Roman judge because they believed in Jesus Christ. When Sapricius, the Roman judge, saw her, he sent everyone from the courtroom. “I want to help you, Dorothy,” he said when they were alone. “You are too beautiful to die for some silly God. Take these few grains of incense and burn them before the idol. Do this, and I shall let you go at once!” Dorothy answered: “I have sworn to be faithful to my Lord Jesus Christ, even unto death.”
The judge threatened to put her in prison. Dorothy said proudly: “The sooner you do the sooner I shall be in paradise, where I may praise God with the angels.” Dorothy was put in prison, where she was beaten and burned with torches. Theophilus, the local governor overheard all that she had said to the judge. He jeered at her and said; “When you are up there with ’your’ angels, since it is now winter, remember me and send me some nice fruit from the Tree of Paradise” At that, she was taken and put to death.
That evening Theophilus was sitting with his friends drinking and eating and telling them about his joke. “Just think,” he laughed, “she said she would send me greetings from Paradise.” Hardly had he finished speaking when a young child appeared, the child spread out a cloth, and though it was a cold, wintry day, handed Theophilus three apples and three blossoms from the ‘Tree of Paradise.’ His heart almost stopped beating and he sank down on his knees and cried: “I swear that the God in whom Dorothy believed is the true and only God!”
Saint Dorothy suffered a martyr’s death for her love of our Lord. Her body is kept in the celebrated ancient church which bears her name, St. Dorothy, very close to the Church of Saint Frances of Rome. You may visit there, when you are in Rome. The feast of this holy virgin and martyr is February 6. She is the Patroness of gardeners and florists.