Icon of St. Dismas the Good Thief – S365


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Movable Church Feast Day 1

Great & Holy Friday


Egg Tempera


St. Paraskeva Church, Vladimir Region, Russia


20th c. (Late)


St. Dismas is the name for the Good Thief who confessed Christ as he was being crucified on His right hand on Golgotha.  Although unnamed in the Gospel, this name for the Good Thief comes from the fourth century and is sometimes spelled Dymas, or Dimas, and comes in part from the Greek word for “West,” which can also mean “sunset.”

St. Dismas was promised Paradise on the very day that he died with Christ, and is shown in this icon with his cross, which he carries as he enters the life that the first Adam lost through disobedience.  It is remarkable that while St. Dismas was dying rightly condemned for his sins and crimes, and the other thief was reviling Christ and trying to get out of the consequences of his wrongdoing, St. Dismas accepted that he deserved all this terrible pain unto death without complaint.  More amazingly, by humbly submitting and accepting his own responsibility, his eyes were opened to confess that Christ was the Lord of Life and had a Kingdom that He could bestow even from the Cross.  This is great faith.  St. Dismas is often shown in icons of All Saints.  Let us learn from him.