The story of this criminal, St. Dismas, who suffered crucifixion with Christ on Calvary, teaches the depth of Christ’s willingness to redeem those condemned. In this icon, St. Dismas stands in his prison cell with the words, “St. Dismas, The Compassionate Thief,” coarsely scratched into the wall. The icon presents those words in the color of blood to express the anguish of imprisonment. Unaffected by the bars of the cell, Christ in the light of his glory blesses St. Dismas and releases him from his human imprisonment.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal [St. Dismas] rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)
The feast of St. Dismas is on 25 March.
(This narrative is printed on the back of Note Cards. A copy is included with each plaque and photo.)
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