Dorothy Day lived from November 8, 1897 to November 29, 1980. She lived with Lionel Moise, by whom she became pregnant. He persuaded her to get an abortion. She married Berkeley Tobey and was divorced a year later. She did give birth to a daughter, Tamar Teresa, by her common law husband, Forster Batterham, a biologist and anarchist, in 1926. They parted ways in 1929, after her conversion to Catholicism. She was a journalist and an activist for socialist causes and women’s suffrage. She was jailed on several occasions and engaged in a hunger strike after being arrested for demonstrating in front of the White House in 1917. She converted to Catholicism in 1927. This did not put a damper on her zeal to help the poor or to secure rights for the disenfranchised.
Dorothy established a Christian hospitality commune and started publishing the Catholic Worker in New York City. This started the Catholic Worker movement, which now has over 125 hospitality houses for the homeless and poor in the US and overseas. She advocated that every Christian household should maintain an extra room to provide hospitality to the poor. She is famous for saying: “When I feed the poor they call me a saint. when I ask why they are poor they call me a communist!” She also told people to not call her a saint. She understood, as I learned early on, that when people call you a ‘saint’ or ‘radical’, it is just a way of excusing themselves from taking similar actions to serve the poor.
Pope Francis included her in a short list of exemplary Americans, together with Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thomas Merton, in his address before the United States Congress.
“Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed so easily.”
“Men are beginning to realize that they are not individuals but persons in society, that man alone is weak and adrift, that he must seek strength in common action.”
“Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.”
Painting is acrylic on 20″ x 16″ stretched canvas.
Price: $200 plus postage to US address
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