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7 Dorothy Day quotes to inspire and challenge you (Photos)

Dorothy Day portrait in her office, Catholic Worker Farm, Tivoli, NY 1968

Bob Fitch photography archive, © Stanford University Libraries

John Touhey - published on 04/05/24

Dorothy Day’s devotion to serving the poor as Christ commanded has set her on the road to sainthood. Her words continue to stir and awaken our hearts.

Writing about Dorothy Day, Pope Francis commented that we learn from her that “God is not a mere instrument of consolation or alienation for man in the bitterness of his own days. Rather, he fills our desire for joy and fulfillment in abundance.”

As a leader of the Catholic Worker Movement, Day committed her life to the poor and to building a more just and peaceful world. Early in life, she “wavered between my allegiance to Socialism, Syndicalism (of the Industrial Workers of the World – I.W.W.) and Anarchism.” Dorothy had several love affairs and became pregnant. She considered her decision to have an abortion to be the greatest tragedy of her life.

Drawn to the Church and a movement

Day found herself drawn to the Catholic Church, which she entered in 1927. In 1932, she met Peter Maurin, a Frenchman who helped give direction to Day’s thirst for social justice. The Catholic Worker Movement began with the publication of their paper, edited by Dorothy Day, The Catholic Worker.

As the movement grew, so did Day’s love for gifts of prayer, community, and the holy poverty she embraced in order to be closer to those she served. Dorothy Day died in 1980 at the age of 83. Twenty years later, the cause for her canonization was opened. At the time, Cardinal John O’Connor, the Archbishop of New York, wrote:

It has long been my contention that Dorothy Day is a saint — not a “gingerbread” saint or a “holy card” saint, but a modern-day devoted daughter of the Church, a daughter who shunned personal aggrandizement and wished that her work, and the work of those who labored at her side on behalf of the poor, might be the hallmark of her life rather than her own self.

The road to sainthood

In 2021, the cause for Dorothy Day’s canonization entered its final phase. You can find a prayer for her cause here, along with a prayer for her intercession.

Encountering Dorothy Day in her writings, many of which can be found at the Catholic Worker Movement’s website, we find a woman who always invites us to enter the mystery of God more deeply through a love for and an openness to those in need.

View the Photo Gallery below to read 7 Dorothy Day quotes to inspire and challenge you.

Catholic QuotesCharityDorothy DayInspiration
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