The Wise Thief

Commemorated March 25

We read in the account of Our Lord’s crucifixion that He was crucified between two thieves who, according to their own admission, we being punished justifiably for their actions. The one thief—referred to in the Orthodox Church as the “Wise Thief,” said, “Remember me O Lord in thy Kingdom,” to which Our Lord replied, “This day you shall be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42-43). This is beautifully related in one of the main hymns sung during Holy Week:

“O Lord, Who in one moment didst make the Wise Thief worthy of Paradise: By the wood of Thy Cross, illumine me and save me, O my Saviour.”

The name Dismas (sometimes spelled Dysmas or only Dimas, or even Dumas), for this thief dates back to the 12th century, and various traditions have assigned him other names. The church has never canonised Dismas, though he is regarded as a saint by virtue of Christ informing him that he would be the first in Paradise.

The Wise Thief was last modified: November 24th, 2023 by Deacon Kirill