When St. Dorothea was on her way to her death, a roman lawyer named Theophilus is said to have said to her, “Send me some fruits from your bridegroom’s garden!” He was mocking her. She’d taken a vow of virginity. She’d refused to worship or offer sacrifice to the Roman idols, and refused to marry. Her response to this mocking, snarky remark? Before she was executed, she sent her headdress, by way of a six year old boy (who is thought to have been an angel), which had the scents of roses & fruits. Boom. Here you go, dude, nice try.
Theophilus’ response? To promptly convert, which resulted in his martyrdom. So great was Dorothea’s example, she converted her heckler!
Another example of quick faith is that of Peter & Andrew in the New Testament. Following Christ immediately, the two brothers gave up their belongings and one of them wound up becoming our very first Pope! According to the online resource CatholicSaints.Info, St. Dorothea is known as the patron saint of florists, brides, gardeners, newlyweds, Pescia (Italy), and as an ALMOST bride myself, it’s nice to see such a courageous example of a truly great bride. She didn’t complain, she didn’t falter, she kept in mind what was at hand and followed through with her true calling.
When I was younger, my parents divorced and I lost my way from the church for a little bit. I certainly never expected to get married. As cliche as it sounds, once they split, getting married lost its glow for me. I was always the kid whose parents were still together (a feat, even in my small Catholic School), and when that changed my senior year of high school, I lost interest in the whole thing. No guy I’d dated had ever even tried to change my mind on that, and I never really felt like it needed changing. I never thought of marriage as a calling, just something people did when they felt gushy mushy in love. It wasn’t until my fiancé and I had started dating and I’d returned to the church thanks to a dear friend welcoming me with zero judgement to go to mass with her family, that I realized, it is a calling. And it’s my calling!
My fiancé isn’t catholic (yet—the Holy Spirit and I are working on that, though), but a Sister at my parish once told me: Some people say one should only marry Catholic. I say: Catholics should marry people of any church, and bring them into the faith! When she said that, it truly dawned on me: my calling is to bring my fiancé and our future child(ren) to the faith! Marriage means so much more now that I see and understand things this way. We’re getting married in just under a year at our Catholic parish and one of my high school classmates has been doing our marriage prep and will marry us! Everything just seemed to fall into perfect place once I realized and became open to my calling. As Christ told us, “…(B)lessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
Reflection 1: Have you ever thought about praying for the discernment of your vocation?
Reflection 2: What area are you having a hard time saying, “Yes!” to God? Is it signing up for an Adoration hour? Maybe taking time to have patience with someone you typically have a hard time being patient with? God calls us to many things, and with each YES, the more blessed we become!
Act: Take a moment to discern what God is calling you to right now. Try to make that moment a habit.