"True love is delicate and kind, full of gentle perception and understanding,
full of beauty and grace, full of joy unutterable. Eve has not seen, nor ear heard, what God has prepared for those who love."
'Baltimore, Md., Nov 13, 2012 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).
The U.S. bishops will vote this week on advancing the cause for the canonization of Dorothy Day, a 20th, century Catholic social activist and tireless advocate for the poor. The move is being sought by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, as his archdiocese was Day's home from 1916 until her death in 1980. Ecclesiastical law requires that the bishop pursuing a canonization consult with his regional bishop's conference on whether or not the cause is prudent.
Cardinal Dolan is asking for the consultation during the U.S. bishops’ general assembly being held Nov. 12-15 in Baltimore. In 2000, Cardinal John J. O'Connor, then-archbishop of New York, submitted Day's cause for canonization to the Vatican.
At that time she was given the title “Servant of God.” ‘That title indicates that her cause is under investigation, and should the Vatican announce Day lived a life of heroic virtue, she will then be called “Venerable.” ‘Born and raised in Chicago, Day was baptized Episcopalian at the age of 12. As a young gitl, she fasted and mortified her body by sleeping on hardwood floors. One journal entry from those early years expresses her desire to suffer for the sins of the world. ‘Her life soon changed as the 1910's brought about a stark shift in the U.S. social climate.
Day read Upton Sinclair's scathing depiction of the Chicago meat-packing industry in “The Jungle,” which marked a turing point in her personal ideology. ‘She dropped out of college and moved to New York, where she took a job as a reporter for the country's largest daily socialist paper, The Call.
She eventually settled in Staten Island, living a peaceful, slow-paced life with her common law husband Forster Batterham, Conflict arose, however, when Day became increasingly drawn to the Catholic faith— praying rosaries consistently and even having their daughter baptized as a Catholic. Batterham, a staunch atheist, eventually left them and Day was herself received into the Catholic Church in 1927.
Along with the personalist philosopher Peter Maurin, she founded the Catholic Worker Movement in 1933. Living the Catholic notion of holy poverty and practicing works of
‘mercy, the two started soup kitchens, self-sustaining farm communities, and a daily newspaper.
The Catholic Worker Movement continues to focus on justice and hospitality for the poor on the margins of society, and expresses pacifism and nonviolence.
It is based on the philosophy of personalism, which holds that the human person must always be regarded first and foremost as a person, and which respects human rights and
‘Day was also an advocate for distributism, an economic system proposed as a third way between capitalism and communism. Distributism was developed in large part by the English Catholic writer G. K. Chesterton,
and seeks widespread property ownership. Distributism is inspired particularly by the social encyclical “Rerum novarum” of Pope Leo XIII. The movement holds that a just social order is better achieved when property
and capital are owned by many people rather than by the state or by a few ultra-wealthy individuals.
Poverty, performing works of mercy, solidarity with the poor, and faithfulness of scripture were the marks of Day's life.
“Because I sincerely loved His poor, He taught me to know Him. And when I think of the little I ever did, I am filled with hope and love for all those others devoted to the cause of social justice,” Day wrote of her experiences in her 1940 work “From Union Square to Rome.”
God our Creator, Your servant Dorothy Day exemplified the
Catholic faith by her conversion, life of prayer and voluntary poverty,
works of mercy, and witness to the justice and peace of the Gospel.
May her life inspire people to turn to Christ as their savior and guide,
to see his face in the world’s poor and to raise their voices for the justice
of God’s kingdom.
We pray that you grant the favors we ask through her intercession so that her goodness
and holiness may be more widely recognized and one day the Church may
proclaim her Saint. We ask this through Christ our Lord.