Dorothy of Caesarea VM (RM) Born in Caesarea, Cappadocia (now Armenia); died there, c. 300.
The story of Saint Dorothy as it has come to us is legendary. When the young maiden, Dorothy, was imprisoned as a Christian during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian, she converted two apostate women warders sent to seduce her. This enraged Fabricius, the governor of Caesarea, who sentenced her to death.
On the way to execution, Dorothy was cruelly baited by a lawyer named Theophilus for refusing to marry or to worship idols. He mockingly asked her to send him back some fruit and flowers from the garden she had joyously announced she would soon be in, "Bride of Christ, send me some fruits from your bridegroom's garden."
As she knelt for her beheading and prayed, a child (or an angel) miraculously appeared with a basket of golden apples and roses. She took her headress and placed in it three roses and three apples. Then she begged a child to take them to Theophilus and tell him she would meet him in the garden. When he saw these gifts he himself was converted to Christianity and later he, too, suffered martyrdom.
Before being killed, Dorothy was stretched on a rack. It is recorded that she was then still smiling, as she remembered the warders she had converted.
Saint Dorothy is the patroness of brewers, brides, florists, gardeners, midwives, and newly-wedded couples (Roeder).
Feastday: February 6