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Dorothy Day’s cause for canonization enters final phase


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Philip Kosloski - published on 12/08/21

The final phase in Dorothy Day's cause for canonization begins in Rome.

Social activist Dorothy Day may soon be recognized as a Catholic saint. The Archdiocese of New York officially opened her cause for canonization in 2000, which was later confirmed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2012.

According to a press release from the Dorothy Day Guild, the initial diocesan phase has concluded, marking the final phase as the cause heads to Rome for the Vatican’s stamp of approval.

This initial phase required the Guild’s effort to amass “what would total 137 archival boxes, containing over 50,000 pages of documents attesting to her holiness (including documents, interviews, writings and publications by and about her).” The large task was aimed at examining her life and determining whether she led a life of “heroic virtue.”

Furthermore, the conclusion of the diocesan phase of her cause coincides with the 89th anniversary of a young Dorothy Day famously praying “with tears and with anguish,” after covering the 1932 Hunger March in Washington, D.C. This event began her life-long passion of advocating for the poor.

Born in Brooklyn in 1897, Dorothy Day was baptized into the Episcopal Church, but spent most of her early life as a radical social activist, joining the Socialist Party. Day was a journalist who was disgusted by the state of the world and desired real change.

Throughout her life she recognized the Catholic Church as the “Church of the poor,” and deeply admired it — while never hesitating to call Church leaders to accountability. After covering the 1932 Hunger March, she prayed at the national Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. and struggled to find her place in the Church.

After returning to New York, she met Peter Maurin, who shared similar values. Day and Maurin would go on to found the Catholic Worker Movement, and would spend the rest of her life as an advocate for the poor.

She died on November 29, 1980, and her life has been an inspiration to many ever since her death.

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