St. Dismas Novena

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St. Dismas was the penitent thief who was crucified beside Jesus. Little is known about his life with certainty. The Gospels tell us that he was sentenced to death because of his crimes. We also know from the Gospels that he experienced a true conversion before he died.

You can use this novena to seek intercession from this saint who died beside Jesus!

About St. Dismas 

The Gospel of Luke mentions that two men were crucified with Jesus, one on His left and one on his right. St. Luke writes that one of the thieves mocked Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.”

But the other criminal said, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal,” (Luke 23:39-41).

St. Luke writes that this penitent criminal then turned to Jesus and said, “Jesus, remember when you come into your kingdom,” (Luke 23:42).

Jesus then said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this day you will be with me in Paradise,” (Luke 23:43).

Beyond this factual material contained in St. Luke’s Gospel about St. Dismas, little is known for certain. There are some traditions about St. Dismas’ life, and some of the saints have conjectured about his life.

St. Augustine of Hippo pondered whether St. Dismas might have been baptized at some point during his lifetime. St. John Chrysostom said that St. Dismas lived in the desert, and that he robbed or murdered anyone he encountered there. Pope St. Gregory the Great said that St. Dismas was guilty of blood and had even killed his own brother.

There is also some conjecture that St. Dismas may have encountered the Holy Family during their flight into Egypt. An apocryphal writing tells a story about this that was popular during the Middle Ages. 

The story says that Dismas and Gestas (the unrepentant thief who died beside Jesus) attempted to rob the Holy Family as they were traveling to Egypt. The story says that Dismas decided to bribe Gestas with forty drachmas to leave the Holy Family alone. It also says that the Christ Child then predicted that both men would be crucified with Him, but that Dismas would go with Him to Paradise. 

St. Peter Damien and St. Augustine both discuss this tradition. St. Augustine said that Dismas told the Christ Child, “O most blessed of children, if ever a time should come when I shall crave Thy mercy, remember me and forget not what has passed this day.”

The Church commemorates the feast day of St. Dismas on the same day as the Feast of the Annunciation because of the ancient Christian tradition that Christ died on the anniversary of His conception.

St. Dismas’ Feast Day: March 25th

Why Pray the St. Dismas Novena?

St. Dismas is the patron saint of prisoners, especially those condemned to death. You can ask for his prayers on behalf of a prisoner whom you know, and especially on behalf of a prisoner who is condemned to death.

St. Dismas is also the patron saint of repentant thieves. You can ask him to pray for you if you yourself have repented from a life of crime. You can also seek his intercession for the repentance of a thief whom you know.

Additionally, St. Dismas is the patron saint of funeral directors. You can ask him to pray for you if you work as a funeral director, or you can ask him to pray for a funeral director you know.

You can pray the St. Dismas Novena for any intention!

St. Dismas Novena Prayers

St. Dismas Novena - Day 1

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

Dear Lord, we thank You for giving us St. Dismas as an example of true conversion. Help us to imitate the love of You he showed when he chose to ask You for mercy before he died.

St. Dismas, we know little for certain about your life except that you were a thief. Though we don’t know the details of your life as a thief, the Gospels tell us that your crimes caused you to be sentenced to the terrible death of crucifixion. But before your final breath, you turned to Christ for mercy.

Please bring my petitions before the Savior you cried out to!

You are known as the Good Thief, because you repented of your crimes and sought forgiveness at the end of your life.

Pray for me, that I may repent of my own sins. Pray that I may never weary of seeking forgiveness when I fail.

Please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

St. Dismas, pray for us!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

St. Dismas Novena - Day 2

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

Dear Lord, we thank You for giving us St. Dismas as an example of true conversion. Help us to imitate the love of You he showed in amending his way of life as he hung on the cross awaiting his death.

St. Dismas, you are invoked as the patron saint of prisoners, because you led a life of crime and sin before your conversion. As you hung on the cross beside Jesus, you repented of your past sins and asked Him for mercy.

Please bring my petitions before Christ Whose mercy you sought!

Though your crimes and sins were many, you humbled yourself before God and turned your heart to Him in repentance.

Pray for me, that I may continually work to reform my life. Pray that I may repent truly each time I fall into sin.

Please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

St. Dismas, pray for us! 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

St. Dismas Novena - Day 3

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

Dear Lord, we thank You for giving us St. Dismas as an example of true conversion. Help us to imitate the love of You he showed in repenting of his life of sin as he awaited death on the cross.

St. Dismas, you led a life full of such grievous crimes that you were condemned to die for them. But before your death, you repented of your sins and asked Jesus to remember you when He came into His Kingdom.

Please bring my petitions before Jesus Who had mercy on you!

You freely admitted your wrongdoing and acknowledged that your conviction had been just. You were sorry for what you had done, and you threw yourself upon God’s mercy.

Pray for me, that I may acknowledge my own sins with sorrow. Pray that I may never tire of seeking God’s mercy for my sins.

Please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

St. Dismas, pray for us!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

St. Dismas Novena - Day 4

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

Dear Lord, we thank You for giving us St. Dismas as an example of true conversion. Help us to imitate the love of You he showed in reproaching the unrepentant thief for his mockery of God.

St. Dismas, you are known as the Good Thief because you repented of your sins before your death. As you hung on the cross beside Jesus, the other thief mocked Him. But you spoke up and reproached the unrepentant thief.

Please bring my petitions before the throne of Christ!

You reproached the unrepentant thief because his words showed that he had no fear of God. You admitted that you had been condemned justly, and you turned to Jesus for mercy.

Pray for me, that I may have a holy fear of God in my life. Pray that I may always be ready to seek God’s mercy when I sin.

Please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

St. Dismas, pray for us!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

St. Dismas Novena - Day 5

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

Dear Lord, we thank You for giving us St. Dismas as an example of true conversion. Help us to imitate the love of You he showed in amending his life and seeking Your mercy before his death.

St. Dismas, you are invoked as the patron saint of prisoners, because you were a criminal throughout most of your life. But before your death, you repented of your sins and asked Jesus to remember you when He came into His kingdom.

Please bring my petitions before Jesus Whose mercy you sought!

Rather than persist in your past sinfulness like the unrepentant thief dying near you did, you amended your life and turned to God.

Pray for me, that I may never weary of amending my life each time I sin. Pray that I may always trust in God’s mercy.

Please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

St. Dismas, pray for us!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

St. Dismas Novena - Day 6

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

Dear Lord, we thank You for giving us St. Dismas as an example of true conversion. Help us to imitate the love of You he showed by seeking Your mercy for his sins.

St. Dismas, we know few details of your early life with certainty, but Scripture tells us that your crimes were grievous enough to merit a death sentence. Despite your many grievous sins, you repented sincerely and threw yourself upon God’s mercy.

Please continue to bring my petitions before the throne of Christ!

You did not despair over your past sinfulness, nor persist obstinately in your sins as the unrepentant thief did. Instead, you turned to Christ with a humbled and repentant heart.

Pray for me, that I may always turn to Christ in repentance each time I sin. Pray that I may never weary of seeking God’s loving mercy.

Please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

St. Dismas, pray for us!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

St. Dismas Novena - Day 7

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

Dear Lord, we thank You for giving us St. Dismas as an example of true conversion. Help us to imitate the love of You he showed by asking You to have mercy on him before he died. 

St. Dismas, you hung upon the cross to die beside Jesus. As you prepared to die, you rebuked the unrepentant thief and you repented of your own sinful life.

Please bring my petitions before Christ beside Whom you died!

You knew that your life was nearing its end, and you used your remaining time to seek mercy. You asked Jesus to remember you when He came into His kingdom.

Pray for me, that I may always turn to Christ for mercy when I sin. Pray that I may become detached of all sinfulness and eager to spend eternity with Him.

Please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

St. Dismas, pray for us!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

St. Dismas Novena - Day 8

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

Dear Lord, we thank You for giving us St. Dismas as an example of true conversion. Help us to imitate the love of You he showed in seeking Your mercy for his many sins as he prepared to die.

St. Dismas, most of your life was full of many terrible sins. You were sentenced to die for your grievous crimes, and you were crucified. As you prepared to die, you knew that your sins against God were many.

Please continue to bring my petitions before the throne of God!

Rather than despair over your sinfulness, you repented of your sins and asked Jesus to remember you when He came into His Kingdom.

Pray for me, that I may never despair over my own sinfulness or the sins of another. Pray that I may always persevere in seeking God’s mercy.

Please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

St. Dismas, pray for us!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

St. Dismas Novena - Day 9

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

Dear Lord, we thank You for giving us St. Dismas as an example of true conversion. Help us to imitate the love of You he showed in turning to Your mercy and repenting before he died.

St. Dismas, your sins against God were many. As you hung upon the cross beside Jesus, you knew that you had greatly offended God and that you were in great need of mercy.

Please continue to bring my petitions before Christ Whose mercy you sought!

As your time on earth neared its end and your death loomed closer, you threw yourself upon Jesus’ mercy and asked Him to remember you when He came into His Kingdom.

Pray for me, that I may have the grace of a spiritually prepared and holy death. Pray that I may seek God’s mercy through all my life and be ready to spend eternity with Him when my life ends.

Please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

St. Dismas, pray for us!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.