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Dorothy Day
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Dorothy Day

If any Catholic earned the right to activism, to call for an end to racism, war and injustice and to champion the cause of the poor and marginalized it was Dorothy Day. Not only because these were reflected her passionate love for Christ and the Church but because for her early life she championed them as a radical bohemian and even as an anarchist. 

Dorothy Day was born in 1897 in Brooklyn to a close knit family of lax Episcopalians. Just after the turn of the century the family moved to Chicago where Dorothy showed a devout attraction to Scripture and church liturgy. As a teen she was drawn toward radical and reform minded authors, both English speaking and Russian, such as Upton Sinclair, Aldous Huxley, Charles Darwin, Jack London, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Maxim Gorky and the anarchist Peter Kropotkin.

After two years at university, Dorothy left Illinois and moved to New York where she chummed around with Greenwich Village activists in the Socialist, Communist, Suffragette and labor union movements. She contributed to magazines like Jack Reed’s The Masses and became close to radical giants like Max Eastman, Emma Goldman and Floyd Dell. She continued to read and radicalize and had several love affairs, one resulting in an abortion that she regretted with great sorrow the rest of her life. She got into a loveless civil marriage with Berkeley Tobey but soon left him for a new man, Forster Batterham, with whom she had a daughter in 1926.  To everyone’s surprise, Dorothy espoused two new passions: motherhood and Catholicism which she began to intensely explore. In 1928 she was received into the Catholic Church.

Dorothy was fired by a passion for peace and justice, especially an end to war and poverty, founded on the social justice encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII and other recent popes. In 1932 Dorothy met French emigre Peter Maurin, who would become her guide, mentor and inspiration, and with him founded the Catholic Worker Movement. In 1933 the first edition of The Catholic Worker, rolled off the presses on May Day. From the beginning, Day and Maurin focused on the plight of the working class, living conditions of the poor, oppression of women and African Americans and challenged the excesses of capitalism and politics of war. However, instead of calling for revolution, Dorothy always rooted her protest in love, dialogue, understanding and silent, civil disobedience. For this she was branded a communist by many Catholics and ridiculed as a fraud by the actual Communist Party in America. 

In 1952, Dorothy wrote and published her autobiography, The Long Loneliness. It remains a classic of 20th century spirituality.

Dorothy refused to support Franco and denounce the Republic in the Spanish Civil War, opposed the United States’ entrance into World War II and after the war encouraged dialogue with communist nations. For this, the popularity of her paper waxed and waned but, undeterred, Dorothy continued to expand her ministry among the poor and marginalized and by the 40’s and 50’s had numerous group homes for the poor as well as communal farms throughout North America and England. 

In the 1960s Dorothy entered the tumultuous sociopolitical fray with undimmed energy and welcomed the documents of the Second Vatican Council and vehemently opposed America’s involvement in Vietnam. Like Robert Kennedy, she supported Cesar Chavez and the striking farm laborers in California and even managed to get arrested again. By the 1970s her health was in decline and while awards and honors were piled upon her, Dorothy continued to write, speak, protest and live a simple and almost mystical life of prayer in the New York Catholic Worker House. Dorothy Day died in November 1980. The Vatican has declared her status as Servant of God.

The Dorothy Day tile was created in 2020. Our 12" X 12" signed and numbered reproduction is created on stretch canvas and is suitable for matting and framing.  

Dorothy Day
Dorothy Day - $ 150.00 USD

Signed reproduction on 12" x 12" stretched canvas.

Guarantee

Your complete satisfaction is our goal. If any item does not meet your expectations, send it back to us within 90 days for an exchange or a full refund of the purchase price.

Shipping and Handling

Shipping and handling cost is $10.95 per icon shipped.