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St. Dismas in the novel Forever Jack


Saint Dismas is the Good Thief, the man crucified at the right hand of Christ.

There is quite a bit of controversy about this saint, certainly more than any other Catholic Saint, or the Eastern Orthodox Saint. For a great many of the years between the crucifixion, and today, Dismas' name has been added to and removed from the list of saints in Rome, depending on how the current Pope felt about the man.

Dismas was a thief. If we look into what we have available to us (which isn't much to be sure : Gospel of Nicodemus), we know he was a career thief, that he had a very long career as a thief. He wasn't a break-and-enter, burglary thief, he was a highway-man, a robber -- which means he probably took lives. According to St. John Chrysostom, Dismas dwelt in the desert and robbed or murdered anyone unlucky enough to cross his path. According to Pope Saint Gregory the Great he "was guilty of blood, even his brother's blood (fratricide)".

... a thief of the divine gem

A soul thief.

The name Dismas, means both sunset and death. It is very possible this was not his original name, but the source of this given name is credible enough in this particular area (meaning that he had both the means, and the ability to discover the Good Thief's name if he choose to, which he seems to have had the desire).

For me, such a controversial person, who is the first Saint, had to be explored, and that was my first intention with the novel Forever Jack.

Comments

  1. What are your thoughts on the Stake vs Cross discussion? I noticed on another post that you had a picture of the cross piece that Dismas was crucified on, has your research given you any insight into that controversy?

    ReplyDelete
  2. To be honest, I wasn't' even aware of the "stake vs cross" discussion until I was trapped inside a trolley filled with Jehovah's witnesses. After that I did some research and found that they were the only ones who seemed to be on the "stake" side of things, and I haven't found their ability to do actual research trustworthy in the past. So, I didn't go much further with it.

    'Crucified', however, according to the written description of Roman records, involved the cross beam. So, whether or not the Bible books, (in the state that we have them today), suggest a single stake, or a crossbeam, really isn't a valid source to consult in this matter.

    Also, ummm, who cares? Seriously. What kind of point is that, to be hung up on? The man was put to death like a criminal, certainly -- and he taught a huge amount of lessons which we should probably be looking into long before we are at a mental and spiritual state where this particular factoid has any relevance to our enlightenment, or blessing. Talk about discovering a case-lesson in Trivial Pursuit.

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