Saint Dorothy, Dorothea of Caesarea Custom wood Sculpture. Dorothea was born in Caesarea, Cappadocia; during the persecutions she died as a martyr rather than abjure her faith in Jesus, the only one who gives true salvation. Her is the "miracle of the basket of roses and apples", and her is the power to convert even the hardest of hearts.
At Caesarea in Cappadocia, in present-day Turkey, martyred saints Dorothea, a virgin, and Theophilus, a schoolteacher.
On February 6 falls the significant and symbolic memory of St. Dorothy, virgin and martyr in 284 ADS, considered the patron saint of florists and greengrocers for the famous miracle of the basket of apples and roses in the middle of winter, and much venerated in the Middle Ages so as to be one of the quarter virgines capitales (along with Catherine, Barbara and Margaret), as well as included in the group of saints.
Her story takes place in Cappadocia, an ancient region of Asia Minor, where there was the city of Caesarea, the capital named after the Emperor Tiberius. In this city at the end of the third century lived our Dorothea, who with great dedication and constancy honored the Lord in fasting and prayers, since childhood is distinguished by works of charity, extraordinary wisdom and purity of heart. Her very ancient passion, but integrated by many legendary elements, makes us understand that the girl was also the object of envy on the part of many, unable to reach the height of her virtues. It was perhaps these people who brought to the tyrant's ears the praises of Dorothea. Hence the inquisition and the trial.
At the time of this Saint, there was in Caesarea a persecutor of Christians, Sapritius, who, having learned that Dorothea was a follower of Christ, summoned her to persuade her to offer sacrifices to the gods. But seeing that the young woman was firm in her convictions as a faithful Christian, he had her tied to a woodpile and threatened to have her die in flames if she did not deny her faith. Seeing that Dorothea did not show any fear of going to the flames, Sapritius had her removed from the pile and sent her to two girls who had renounced their faith: one was called Crista, the other Calista, both names that testified that the two unfortunate women had been Christians.
The effect that Sapricius hoped for was that the two fellow citizens would persuade Dorothea to offer sacrifices to the gods, describing to her the atrocious pain of such a violent death. On the contrary, Crista and Calista were again converted to the faith by the persuasive words of Dorothea, who repeated that the Christian faith was the only one that gave eternal salvation. Thus redeemed, Crista and Calista returned to the palace of Sapritius and proclaimed to him their regained fidelity to Christ.
They were immediately condemned to the stake. Dorothea, who was even happier because the two young women had courageously faced martyrdom in the name of Christ, faced the wrath of Sapritius by praising the Lord.
It happened that the Saint, leaving the palace to go to her martyrdom, met the judge Theophilus who had been present when Dorothea told Sapritius that her husband was in heaven and that up there the gardens were full of flowers and fruits. Theophilus immediately laughed at her, so much so that he said, "Please send me some apples and roses from heaven." Dorothy replied that she would comply with his request even if it was provocative. Before being beheaded, Dorothy prayed in an extreme act of faith. When she finished the prayer, an angel in the shape of a child came and offered Theophilus the apples and roses he had asked for. Then the angel disappeared. Then Dorothea reclined her head, which was cut off with a blow of the sword.
So edifying was Dorothea's death, preceded by that prodigious event, that the judge Theophilus proclaimed her conversion to the faith of Christ. For this "betrayal" of his, he too was condemned to death by decapitation and in the martyrology his name is associated with our Dorothea.
Etymology: Dorothea = gift of God, from the Greek, as Theodora
Emblem: Basket of fruit and flowers
Recurrence: February 6
Caesarea of Cappadocia, IV cent.