Saint Dismas

Feast Day: March 25

Dismas or Dimas

The Roman soldiers took Him to Golgotha, which in our language means 'place of the skull'. When they came to that place, they crucified Him there, and also the criminals, one on his right (the 'evil murderer', later called Gestas) and the other on his left (the 'good' murderer, later called was called Dismas).

Gestas, mocked Jesus and said to Him scornfully, “Are you the Messiah?” Then save yourself and us!' Dismas rebuked him: 'Do you not even fear God, now that you are also undergoing this punishment? In our case that is right, because we get what we deserve. But He has done nothing wrong.” Dismas invoked Jesus' intercession. When asked if Jesus would remember him when He entered His Kingdom, Jesus replied, “I promise you, today you will be with Me in paradise.” This passage has often been used to emphasize Jesus' role as Savior. . Even on the cross he forgave a repentant sinner.

In Christian tradition the good and the bad criminal (or thief) are also known as Dismas and Gestas, but in the apocryphal writings they are also known as Zoatham and Cammatha or Joathas and Maggatras.

According to tradition, the cross of the forgiven sinner ended up in Cyprus in the fourth century, where Dismas was long venerated. A fragment of it later ended up in Bologna with some other relics of the saint.

Dismas has never been canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, but is venerated as a saint by local traditions as Saint Dismas. Dismas is the patron saint for undertakers, thieves and death row inmates.

His feast falls on the same day as the Solemnity of the Annunciation.


Lord Jesus, help us to be merciful as You are merciful. Let us see that all are Your children and remember that we are not to judge. When we look on one such as Dismas, let us see an opportunity to offer hope and salvation. Let us witness the good news of salvation to the sinner and never judge anyone as unworthy or hopeless. Just as Dismas repented at the last moments of his life on earth, let us see that this is great hope for all and grant that we never grow weary in our efforts to bring the light of salvation to all.