Dorothy Day and the Saints

Posted by Robert Ellsberg on 8/28/17 7:00 AM

How would I describe the spirituality of Dorothy Day? It was inspired by the “Little Way” of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, her conviction that all our small acts of faithfulness and love can help transform the world in ways we may never see.

Day exemplified the beatitudes. Hers is the face that comes to mind when I envision the poor of spirit, the meek, the pure of heart, the mournful, the peacemakers, and those who hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness.

We are accustomed to thinking of saints as people who stand out for their heroic faith and witness to Gospel values. But before their bold and courageous actions, perhaps what distinguishes such people is their way of seeing and interpreting reality. They look at the world through a Gospel lens—and in doing so, they see things according to a new scale of value. 

Pope Francis praised Day during his trip to the United States in 2015. “Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed,” he said, “were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.”


Click here for more of my thoughts on Dorothy Day.


The Franciscan Saints, by Robert Ellsberg

Categories: Saints, Dorothy Day, Robert Ellsberg, The Franciscan Saints, Catholic Worker Movement